Instant Estimate


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Types of editing, explained.

Each manuscript arrives in a different state of readiness. Some would benefit from reorganization and plain language structuring, some need smoothing of the language and checking for internal consistency, others are in the final stages of production and need that fresh set of eyes. The editor can work with your project manager to determine which type of edit fits your needs.

Substantive or developmental editing

  • reorganization and plain language structuring
  • negotiating or drafting changes with the author(s)
  • revising and/or suggesting visuals, tables, and figures
  • flagging content for further development
  • coaching through revisions

magnified eyeCopyediting

  • checking grammar, spelling, and punctuation
  • checking and adjusting reading level
  • clarifying meaning
  • eliminating jargon
  • adding specifications for the designer
  • applying styles in Word
  • writing or editing captions and headings
  • negotiating or drafting changes with the author(s)


  • checking grammar, spelling, and punctuation
  • checking placement of all visuals
  • checking all internal references
  • verifying content against final manuscript (quality assurance)
  • marking up changes to the printer’s proof or test run of final product (often final designer’s files as a PDF)


How to save on editing costs

photo art with eye superimposed on a palm, by SGT Pablo Piedra used under CC BY-2.0 license yourself cannot compare to getting a professional edit, but you can save money and improve your writing by following this checklist to get your manuscript ready for editing. And here are five ways to see what you’ve written with fresh eyes. It’s worth the effort.


All images on this page are licensed under CC BY-2.0. Click images for credits.

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