What is Editing?
Professional editing is more than correcting typos and grammatical errors. Correcting only surface errors is proofreading. Editing requires a deep rhetorical understanding of genre and audience expectations. You need someone who understands the importance of your discourse community—the audience to whom you are writing, the history of the conversations they have had, and their expectations for how those conversations should take place through writing. A good editor takes these things into account when working with you and your writing. A good editor knows what questions to ask, and uses your knowledge of your discourse community to improve your writing.
- proofreading (correcting spelling, basic grammatical, and typographical errors)
- revising sentence structure for style, clarity, and genre
- reorganizing sentences within paragraphs to increase readability
- assisting with vocabulary and word choice to fit genre and audience expectations
- correcting citation errors to correspond to a standard stylebook (APA, MLA, AP, Chicago, etc.)
- document design and formatting (headings, titles, page numbers, headers, figures, etc.)
Editing never includes:
- argument, thesis, or idea development
- revising or reorganizing the structure of the writing beyond the paragraph level
How Will You Edit My Writing?
I have taught college-level writing at the undergraduate and graduate level for 17 years, and directed a university writing center for five years. During that time I have helped hundreds of writers from dozens of disciplines, including second language writers, improve their work.
My editing process is a collaborative one that draws on my writing center training. The better my understanding of the audience, purpose, and context for your writing, the better the editing work. To achieve this goal, we will work together as a team. I will read your draft and submit written questions in the margins. We will then communicate by phone or video chat to discuss the draft so I clearly understand your audience, purpose, and subject matter. Then I will edit your work and return it to you for review and further discussion as necessary.