Editing is the process of preparing manuscripts and documents for final completion. This can involve correction, condensation, organization, and other modifications with the intent of producing a manuscript that is consistent, accurate, and complete.
This is done with a variety of resources, such as:
1. Experience and education
2. The appropriate style guide for the job (Chicago, AP, etc.)
3. Editor's tools, such as editor style sheets
4. Knowledge of Microsoft Word, or other word processing review, tracking, and editing features.
An editor's job is to understand your work, and provide assistance in making your manuscript as readable and consistent as possible.
Keep in mind when you are looking for an editor that it is important to know what kind of editor you are looking for, and hiring.
While there are dozens of descriptions, the following are a few to keep in mind:
- Substantive or Structural: Clarifying and/or reorganizing a manuscript for content and structure. The editor will make obvious editing needs as well as suggest changes. This type of editing often includes copy editing, and as such will typically cost more to do.
- Copy editing (also called basic editing): Editing for grammar, spelling, punctuation and other mechanics of style; checking for consistency of mechanics and internal consistency of facts. When most people hire an editor this is what they are thinking.
- Proofreading: Complete review of the entire manuscript upon its completion and in its publication format. You can think of this type of editing as an insurance that you have "crossed your T's and dotted your I's." It's a final, and often the last review of your manuscript.
- Rewriting: Creating a new manuscript or piece of writing based off an already existing one. This is most often used for a product with a single copy, that a client wants new copy written for every sales
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