3 Methods for Editing Your Writing

3 Methods for Editing Your Writing

In this age of autocorrect, internet searches, and spellcheck, you might wonder why or if you need another set of eyes on your writing. Sure, those tools are helpful. But there is no true substitute for the human brain when it comes to reading, scrutinizing, and manipulating writing for others to consume. Editors help writers, readers, publishers, designers, and others through proofreading and editing. Editors are skilled in ensuring that your writing has clarity, consistency, accuracy, and is effective and complete.

Let’s dive into a few well-known methods for editing. Editors use all or some of the following approaches in stages during the writing process or, sometimes, as standalone steps.

Line editing

Line editing typically takes place on a written draft and is an extensive sentence-by-sentence, paragraph-by-paragraph review focusing on:

  • Paragraph structure.
  • Flow.
  • Word choice.
  • Voice.
  • Tone.
  • Language.
  • Readability.

Line editing sometimes includes substantial edits and potential rewrites since it encompasses the effectiveness of the way you communicate to your audience. Line editing makes sure your copy reads well and that its intended meaning is conveyed in the best way.

Copy editing

Copy editing focuses on technical details such as grammar, syntax (the arrangement of words) and spelling in drafted text. Copy editing typically happens before text is placed into design or typeset and certainly prior to publishing or sharing with your audience. When copy editing, you look for errors in:

  • Punctuation.
  • Hyphenation.
  • Consistency.
  • Spelling.
  • Capitalization.
  • Grammar.
  • Style.

At times, copy editing also includes fact-checking and reference citing or permissions. Copy editing verifies that writing adheres to the chosen style guide and is grammatically accurate and error-free.


Typically, proofreading is the final pass before materials are printed, published, posted, etc., after any line editing or copy editing has been completed and the text has been updated to reflect the edits. Often, proofreading is done when content or copy has been placed in design or typeset. It includes many of the focus areas included in copy editing (essentially checking for errors) but doesn’t go into individual sentence structure or flow. Proofreading is all about the details and putting the finishing touches on your writing.

As you can see, editing and proofreading are essential for exceptional copy and content. When you hire an editor, you are getting a skilled professional that has you and your audience in their best interest.

If you are seeking results-driven, detailed attention to polish your copy or content, I can provide editing to make it shine. With nearly 15 years of experience in marketing and communications, I can help you or your organization stand out with stellar writing and editing services for a variety of content and copy. Reach out to me to discuss how we can better tell your story. Let’s schedule a call — at no charge — to discuss your needs for writing, editing, or strategic communications.