Copyediting and proofreading

My editorial principle is to correct and improve a piece of writing while retaining the author’s voice. I can provide several levels of intervention in a text, but unless extensive editorial work is requested by a client my default practice is to perform no more than light editing. I can advise an author whether light, medium or heavy copyediting is recommended, but I will always respect an author’s wishes.

As standard, I check the following:

  • Grammatical sense
  • Punctuation
  • Syntax
  • Spelling
  • Consistency (e.g. of hyphenation, capitalization, number treatment)
  • Layout and formatting
  • Cross-references
  • Presentation of references and bibliography
  • Correlation of parts

In addition, depending on a client’s requirements, as well as the timescale and budget of the project, I can provide the following:

  • Editing for style, diction and fluency
  • Rewriting of problematic passages
  • Development editing to improve structure and organization (non-fiction only)
  • Reference- and fact-checking
  • Formatting for publication (e.g. to Amazon Kindle or Smashwords)
  • A report with an editorial summary, suggestions and advice

For large projects, I always provide the client with a style sheet, a tracked-changes Word file, a comments-only Word file, and a PDF of the edited file.

I always edit and proofread in line with the requirements and style guide of an author/publisher. Where there is no style guide, I will apply one of my own (usually based either on the Chicago Manual of Style or New Hart’s Rules), and I can adapt a style guide to meet the specific needs of a client. I will adopt British or American spelling, and any other editorial conventions, as preferred by the client.

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