When is the right time for editing

The right time for editing depends on what type of editing you need. If you are paying for editing, you probably want to minimise the number of rounds of editing, while ensuring a high quality final product.

A document may need some or all of these major types of editing.

  • Structural editing, advising on structure, content and style to clearly communicate the right message to the right audience, can be done on early drafts of a document.
  • Copy editing, checking for consistency in format and style and correct spelling and grammar, can be done closer to the due date. If there are many changes suggested, several rounds of checking may be needed.
  • Proofreading, checking a manuscript against the “proof” or version to be printed, is done after the copy edited text and other items have been passed to a designer or printer for layout.

Here are some tips to consider:

  • Do as much as you can before passing your document to an editor.
  • Be clear about the type of editing you need.
  • Be realistic about the editing timeframe and allow time to make and check changes.
  • Remember, as noted in a previous post, changes made at the last minute can be more likely to have mistakes for several reasons. Best to avoid a major restructure or rewrite the night before the due date.

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