Stylistic Editing

Something I learned while doing my English degree studies is that all writing tasks benefit from a fresh pair of eyes and a fresh perspective. Which is where I can help with either stylistic editing – known also as proof-editing – of your copy or proofreading. Or a combination of both.

What’s involved?

It’s easy to get confused about the difference between proofreading and editing – often called copy-editing, stylistic editing or proof-editing.

Proofreading comes at the end of the document production process – at the ‘proof’ stage when the writing is considered to be complete and ready for printing. In this situation it is the job of the proofreader to ensure the writing is error free before it is published.

Copy or stylistic editing can be concerned with more in-depth editorial suggestions such as:

  • Correcting formatting, spelling, grammar and punctuation
  • Improving the readability of the text by: rearranging words or paragraphs; shortening sentences or suggesting alternative words or phrases.
  • Making the tone of voice and language appropriate for the readership

The stylistic editing process

Is is not easy to say how much editing a project will need because every one is different and depends on the needs of the client and the condition of the material.

I use the track-changes feature in Microsoft Word. This allows the document’s owner to accept or reject my suggested changes therefore allowing ultimate control of the work to the author. Alongside the track-changes I will make additional suggestions/commentary via the Comments feature of Word.

NOTE: For CVs, school and university work I will correct formatting, spelling, punctuation and grammar but am unable to offer stylistic editing as that then changes the student’s work and would be unethical.