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 based on whatever information you provide.
Each of the following levels of editing I offer is 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 the appropriateness of certain words or phrases. I will look out for major inconsistencies in style, tone and register, but pay little attention to the content, readability and overall structure of the text. It is always a good idea to have a native speaker copy-edit your text before you have it published.
2. Medium editing (editing for flow)
At this level, I concentrate on increasing the overall readability of your text, including how your information ‘flows’. I will 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. If I find certain passages to be ambiguous, I will consult you to ensure the best formulation. With your specific target audience in mind, I will evaluate your use of technical terms and the accessibility of any visual materials you include. Fact-checking for accuracy is also possible at this level. This level of editing for readability and flow naturally includes thorough copy-editing as well.
3. 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 will look at your text with the following questions in mind:
- Is your main message always clear to your readers (at the text, section and paragraph levels)?
- Do you present your information in a logical sequence (from the reader’s point of view)?
- Do the various sections all fit together to form a coherent whole?
- Is the information structured in proper English paragraphs (in contrast to Dutch alinea’s, for example)?
- Are there any gaps in the information? Have you included everything your readers need to know?
- Is there any unnecessary repetition or irrelevant information?
- Is your writing style balanced and consistent throughout?
- Is your text easy to “navigate” (e.g. does it have a table of contents, informative headings above sections and subsections, and clear references to and explanations of any tables or graphs)?
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.
4. Co-authoring (copywriting)
This is where editing turns into full-on writing. First, you will provide me with all the necessary information in the form of a (very) rough draft. We will then discuss what you want to say and how you would like the information to come across. Afterwards, I will turn your information into a flowing text that is fully targeted to the particular audience you want to reach. Such co-creation projects are a blend of editing, copywriting and consulting.
5. Sub-editing (proofreading)
Sub-editing is different from the other kinds of editing described above. Strictly speaking, it involves only 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 printer – usually only after it has already been thoroughly copy-edited and fully laid out on the pages of the brochure, magazine/journal or book. 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.