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Tip: The Four Main Types of Editing

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Guest copyedited

Hello, I wanted to make sure this type of information was all in one place. I hope it will be helpful for anyone looking for editing gigs. I’m new to Fiverr, but I’ve been in the editorial world for a while. I thought I would try to contribute and connect with the community here.

Happy writing! 🙂

The Four Main Types of Editing:


Developmental editing can help you develop your project from an initial concept or rough draft. The editor can even consult with you before your project even begins. They can help plan the organization and features of your story. They may:

♦️ Make suggestions about content and presentation

♦️ Write or rewrite text

♦️ Do research

♦️ Suggest additional topics for you to consider


Substantive (sometimes known as “structural”) editing is done once you have the full text. These editors will help you get it into its final form. Which may involve:

♦️ Reordering or rewriting segments of it to improve readability

♦️ Clarity

♦️ Accuracy

♦️ Alert you to inconsistent character behavior or speech

♦️ Help you adjust your language to your desired audience

♦️ Make sure your story has believable dialogue and a plausible plotline


Copyeditors work with your text when it is in FINAL or nearly FINAL form. They read each sentence carefully, seeking to fix all errors of spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, and word usage while preserving your meaning and voice. With your permission, they may:

♦️ Rewrite tangled sentences

♦️ Suggest alternative wordings

♦️ They can ensure that your text conforms to a certain style

♦️ Elements such as captions, tables, or footnotes, are checked for uniform style


Proofreading is the final stage in the editorial process. Proofreaders usually see a project after the design is complete and any photos or other visual elements have been added – a typeset book or brochure, a demonstration website. They may:

♦️ Correct errors overlooked during copyediting

♦️ Correct errors during the design process

♦️ Cross-check the changes of another editor

♦️ Check design elements such as heading and typeface styles, page numbers, etc.

►There are a few other types of editing, (…indexing, mock-up, production editing…) but these are the main ones. If you are still unsure of what type of editing your project might need, you can always shoot me a message. I’d be happy to help!

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Guest copyedited

Reply to @fonthaunt: I credit my knowledge to years of experience. This is a conveniently condensed version of my contribution to the editing guild I belong to.

I certainly appreciate your tactfully phrased question. 😉

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Reply to @copyedited: I appreciate your tactfully worded response as well. Since you did not mention, again, where the original is, here it is for anyone interested:



Welcome to the Northwest’s premier editorial resource! | Northwest Independent Editors Guild


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