Customized services: editing

Depending on your specific needs, I can edit your text on a variety of different levels. Those range from simply “dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s”  to fully rewriting your draft text using the information you provide. 

The following levels of editing are described in more detail below.

  • Light editing (copy-editing)
  • Medium editing (editing for flow)
  • Heavy editing (substantive editing)
  • Co-authoring (copywriting)
  • Sub-editing (proofreading)
  1. Light editing (copy-editing)

With light editing, I focus only on the basics: correct spelling, verb tense and punctuation, along with appropriateness of certain words or phrases. I look out for major inconsistencies in style, tone and register, but pay little attention to the content, readability or overall structure of the text. 

It is always a good idea to have a native speaker copy-edit your text if you plan to submit it for publication (e.g. in a peer-reviewed journal).

  1. Medium editing(editing for flow)

At this level, I concentrate on increasing the overall readability of your text, including the ‘flow’ of the information you present. I weigh the complexity of your sentences, turn unnecessary passive constructions into active ones, and keep an eye out for a clear and logical development of the arguments within your paragraphs. With your specific target audience in mind, I evaluate your use of technical terms and the accessibility of any visual materials you include. If I think certain passages are ambiguous and may confuse your readers, I will consult you to ensure the best formulation. Fact-checking for accuracy can take place at this level as well.  Editing a text for readability includes thorough copy-editing as well.

  1. Heavy editing (substantive editing)

This is the most comprehensive level of editing since it essentially involves an analysis of the overall structure of the text. With substantive editing, I look at your text with the following questions in mind:

  • Is it clear to your readers what the text is about?
  • Is the information presented in a logical sequence (from the point of view of your readers)?
  • Do the various sections all fit together to form a coherent whole?
  • Is the information structured in English paragraphs rather than Dutch alinea’s?
  • Are there any gaps in the information? Have you included everything your readers need to know?
  • Does your text contain irrelevant information or unnecessary repetition?
  • Is the style balanced and consistent throughout?
  • Have you provided useful tools to guide your reader through the text (e.g. a table of contents and headings above sections and subsections)?
  • Are your tables or graphs easy to read and understand?

Any restructuring or rewriting of part or all of the text will always take place in close consultation with the author. Before a text can be edited on this level, it usually needs to have been edited on the first two (light and medium) levels.

  1. Co-authoring (copywriting)

This is where editing turns into full-on writing. You provide me with all the necessary information in the form of a (very) rough draft. We discuss what you want to say and how you would like the information to come across. I then turn your information into a flowing text that is fully targeted to the particular audience you want to reach. Such co-creation projects form blend of editing, copywriting and consulting.

  1. Sub-editing (proofreading)

Sub-editing is different from the other kinds of editing described above. It involves strictly a final check for things like missing or misspelled words or typographical errors, incorrect capitalization, improper word division or inconsistent pagination. Sub-editing is done just before your text goes to the publisher – usually only after it has already been thoroughly copy-edited and fully laid out on the pages of the book, magazine or journal. That means that only very minor but essential changes can be made during proofreading. Having an independent set of eyes proofread your text in this way can help you avoid the frustration of discovering embarrassing mistakes only after your text has been published.