Why do you need an editor?

People sometimes ask why they need an editor. What do editors do that a friend or colleague looking at your document won’t?

An editor sees your document or report as a product representing your business, not you personally. A friend or colleague might be worried about upsetting you by saying they didn’t understand something, or they think it should be re-worded, but an editor’s job is to help you polish your document to engage your clients and clearly deliver your message.

There are different levels of editing an editor might recommend for your document. From lightest touch (and quickest), to more full-on review, these are proofreading, copy editing, and structural editing.

  • Proofreading (or proofing) means checking your document has no spelling mistakes or typos, uses the same spelling throughout, and apostrophes and so on are used correctly.
  • Copy editing includes all this, but also checking grammar, and making suggestions to rearrange sentences or ideas to help the reader understand your message, suggesting words or sentences that could be removed, and highlighting where it’s not clear what you mean.
  • Structural editing includes all that copy editing does, as well as looking at the overall structure of your document; that the ideas flow naturally, or if moving the sections, ideas or chapters around might help to deliver your message more clearly.

Contact me if you’d like a quote on proofreading or editing a document.


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