Lydia Wanstall

Copy-editing and Proofreading

 
 
 

Why use an editor?

You’ve chosen to write something for someone else to read. Whether it is an internal memo, a report, an article, a web page, a book or any number of other texts, it is destined for a reader who needs to understand it and engage with it.

Many important aspects of writing that are worth considering as you complete the piece can be assessed using the following questions:

  • Is the text comprehensible and consistent?
  • Is the argument coherent and logical?
  • Is the piece’s structure sound and suitable for the publication medium?
  • Is the writing style and tone appropriate for the desired readership?
  • Have errors of spelling, grammar and punctuation been removed?
  • Is your message clear and persuasive?

Keeping all these factors and more in mind as you write and re-write should gain you a great first draft.

However, when writing, you tend not to spot your own mistakes, to notice ambiguities or repetitions or to be aware of your own writing mannerisms. It is crucial to ask for an objective professional eye to look over the text before publication to check for these possible pitfalls.

An experienced editor will not only correct errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar and formatting but also re-style if required to avoid ambiguous or obscure text, and ensure that the finished product is appropriate for the intended readership.

To see some examples of the difference an editor can make, compiled by the CIEP, visit ciep.uk/resources/why-edit/

Testimonials

You really are a remarkable editor. It is always satisfying to read the changes you propose to improve texts. And your commitment to excellence is also contagious.

Mary Ann Stewart
Division of Country Health Policies and Systems, WHO Regional Office for Europe

Sincere thanks for all your help and assistance and the professional approach to the timing! Many of the changes and suggestions you made were invaluable to the quality of the finished product and I am truly grateful.

Novelist

Many thanks for your help, Lydia. That was all very painless and you were very pleasant to work with as well as being highly professional. I hope all my future experience of copy editing is as friendly and efficient as this has been.

Dr Simon Zagorski-Thomas
London College of Music, UWL