Differences Between Editing and Proofreading. AMWA s 73rd Annual Conference Columbus, Ohio Friday, November 8, 2013

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1 Differences Between Editing and Proofreading Melissa L. Bogen, ELS AMWA s 73rd Annual Conference Columbus, Ohio Friday, November 8, 2013

2 My Background Launched Bogen Editorial Services, 1997 Joined EFA, 1999 ( Health insurance Classes, networking, and camaraderie Joined AMWA, 2000 ( Core certificate in editing & writing, 2003 Advanced certificate, 2008 BELS certification, 2001 (

3 Editing vs Proofreading: What s the Difference? Edit, copyedit: terms often used interchangeably Proofreading: more involved than just ensuring words are spelled correctly Problem with these terms: What editing means to one client might be what another calls proofreading

4 One Possible Definition Copyediting consists of all of the following: Revising sentences to bring subjects and verbs closer together Moving subjects to the front of the sentence Discovering hidden verbs, otherwise known as nominalizations Creating consistent subject patterns within a paragraph or section of the document Balancing sentence type and variety Eliminating unnecessary words Replacing jargon with plain language Clarifying vague or confusing words or phrases Correcting a document for errors including misspellings, typos, and errors in punctuation, including but not limited to commas, dashes, semicolons, and quotation marks Fact checking, including quotes and their sources as well as mathematical calculations Cross-referencing tables of contents, indices, appendices, figures, tables, charts, footnotes, endnotes, and literature cited Correcting modifier usage and placement Checking subject and verb agreement Verifying the capitalization of proper nouns and adjectives Verifying abbreviations, ensuring they are defined at first mention and used consistently throughout Verifying the presentation of numbers and other symbols is consistent & matches the client s preferred style Checking various aspects of typography including but not limited to headers and footers; subject headings and subheadings; protection against widows and orphans; charts, tables, and figures and their captions; tables of contents; indices; and appendices

5 Types of Editing According to Bay Area Editors Forum Editing (or copyediting or copy editing) Proofreading Fact checking But also: Acquisitions editing Developmental editing Indexing Information design Permissions editing Production editing Project editing Technical editing

6 Doesn t Matter What Term Is Used Client and editor must agree on tasks to be accomplished Editor needs to clarify with client the scope of the work upfront. Helps with estimating how long a job will take and how much to charge One way to clarify scope is to break projects down into light, medium, and heavy editing

7 Levels of Editing: Light Correcting faulty spelling, grammar, & punctuation Checking TOC & specific cross-references (eg, As Table 2 shows... ) Ensuring consistency in spelling, hyphenation, numerals, fonts, and capitalization Checking all refs are cited Noting where copy is missing No rewriting Preparing project-specific style sheet

8 Example of Light Editing

9 Levels of Editing: Medium Includes light editing tasks Suggesting better word choices & changing heads or text to ensure parallel structure Ensuring that abstracts, summaries, and end-of-chapter questions reflect content Enforcing consistent style and tone Ensuring tables created from raw CSR data came from right source & simple math is correct

10 Levels of Editing: Heavy Includes light & medium editing tasks May include major reorganization to improve readability at sentence and paragraph level Perhaps adding text, heads, tables, & figures Includes ESL editing Implement changes for author approval rather than simply flagging problems Key difference: level of judgment and rewriting

11 o Profreading Checking for typos, spelling/punctuation errors, typesetting mistakes, and other minor mechanical problems Querying editorial errors Checking copy for conformity to style sheet Ensuring attractive output: word spacing, line breaks, keeping numbers & units of measure together, etc

12 Editorial Proofreading In real life with compressed deadlines, when previously published material will be reprinted, or when client has concerns about errors introduced during heavy editing or reformatting Client might ask for minimal changes or that every error be flagged for internal review

13 Questions to Ask Upfront How many pages/slides? If slides, are there notes to edit/fact check? What style guide (eg, AMA)? Is there an in-house style guide to follow? Track changes? How to handle queries? For fact checking: What is preferred annotation style in the file & PDFs?

14 What s an Editor Worth? Who wants to spend a lot of money paying a pro to clean up typos? Editors do much more than catch errors in grammar, style, and punctuation We collaborate with writers to produce a polished final piece We protect your piece from you and push you to do your best

15 Thank You! Melissa L. Bogen, ELS

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