Editing is extremely important, but knowing what type of editing and the proper extent of its use is paramount. It is an author’s responsibility to do their own review of the document before and after an editor has revised it. Three types of editing exist in making revisions for any given work: copyediting, content, and structural.
Copyediting (also known as proofreading and basic editing) is perhaps one of the most important forms of editing for any written work. This form of editing involves making corrections to grammar, spelling, punctuation, and mechanics to ensure the most appropriate aspect of the basic text is being acknowledged. This prevents imperative sentences from being used as interrogative sentences, or it ceases a verb which should be past tense from being used in the present tense. This also indirectly reinforces having a suitable format (arrangement of words and sentences for structure) for the author’s purpose. This form of editing prevents the most common mistakes from being observed by the reader’s eyes.
Content editing (also known as stylistic and heavy editing) is the type of editing that ensures the coherence is sound and logical. It guarantees bullets are not flying before the trigger is pulled or stops someone from bursting into flames while they are immersed in the Atlantic Ocean on its floor. Content editing also evaluates the story’s continuity to assure transitions from one event to the next are gradual and appropriate. There are exceptions to the rules. Logic is acceptably compromised if the writing is a fantasy, but some explanations still need to clarify why extraordinary or miraculous events occur in these instances or acknowledge it. Content editing will keep your fish from swimming backwards in outer space.
Substantive editing (also known as structural, publish-ready, or developmental editing) is a thorough combination of the two with great scrutiny given to detail for the best possible presentation of writing. This type of editing is very common when manuscripts are evaluated for publication by certain editors. It is necessary is for you to do some of this editing if you are submitting your manuscript for publication to drastically reduce its dismissal by a publishing company. Frequently, authors hire editors who evaluate these manuscripts on this basis as well. This type of editing also involves the most appropriate format for the written work. For instance, using the same type of format for an essay as one uses for poetry will not necessarily please the readers. Similarly, having the structure of a collegiate, research paper for a children’s book with numerous, parenthetical references will not necessarily influence your audience, favorably. Discretion of the most appropriate editing is advised.