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Substantive Editing

Substantive editing is distinct from and comes before copyediting. The goal of a substantive edit is to address the overall writing style and use of language throughout a work. I will:

  • Write or rewrite to improve readability and flow
  • Tighten language for clarity and concision
  • Address overuse of particular words and passive constructions
  • Trim or rewrite redundancies
  • Suggest enhancements for bland wording
  • Reorganize sentences and paragraphs to improve logic and order


If your work has already been through developmental and substantive edits, you’ve finished writing and you’ve already self-edited, then you’re ready for copyediting. In this phase, I will:

  • Correct errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation and usage
  • Ensure consistency in capitalization, hyphenation, numbers, etc.
  • Flag inappropriate language
  • Point out awkward, wordy or convoluted passages
  • Fact-check statements that seem incorrect
  • Check cross-references, artwork and display elements
  • Query the writer on inconsistencies and problems of organization and logic
  • For longer works, create a style sheet to keep track of specific style decisions made while copyediting


Proofreading should be the last step before publication, with the goal of correcting errors introduced or overlooked in previous editing and design phases. I will:

  • Check content in its final format
  • Correct or query all errors and inconsistencies in text and layout

Web editing

Web editing can include everything in your preferred level of proofreading or copyediting with the added service of tailoring content for a web audience. I will:

  • Trim, rewrite and reformat to adapt content to web reading habits
  • Optimize scannability
  • Suggest user experience improvements