A professional editor helps writers improve their documents in several ways, with five specific ways discussed below.
- Correcting errors and other mistakes
A professional editor reviews the entire document for errors related to grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Professional editors may also ensure that the formatting is consistent and remove other typographical errors. Having a document reviewed by a professional editor increases writers’ confidence in their work and helps them to create polished, error-free documents. While the content of any document is important, readers may discredit the validity and accuracy of any document that has substantial mistakes. This can be avoided by submitting your document to a professional editor.
- Language and tone suggestions
Professional editors of documents can also help by improving the tone of the document, making sure the right tone is used for a given subject and that it is used consistently throughout the document. For example, a dry, academic tone may not be appropriate for a document that’s meant to entertain and humor the reader, such as in a blog post. A professional editor can also focus on the word choice, making sure it is appropriate for the topic, and review for consistency in tense (i.e., past tense, present tense, or future tense) and point of view (i.e., first person, third person).
- A clear, focused message
It can be a challenge when writing any type of document to make sure the overall message is clear and focused. A professional editor will review the document to make sure the message is clear, well-stated, and supported by facts and/or citations when necessary. This is particularly important for documents such as academic research articles, which depend on a clear thesis and argument throughout the document.
- Consistent style and formatting
Depending on the topic of the document and where it will be submitted, it may need to follow a particular style guide, which provides guidelines for formatting, spelling, and other components of the document. Common style guides include the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook as well as the Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA), and Chicago Manual of Style guides, among others. A professional editor should have a clear understanding of at least one of these writing styles and will make sure that the entire text adheres to the applicable guidelines.
- Increased knowledge on writing
A fifth benefit of working with a professional editor when creating a document is that it can increase your understanding of grammar and punctuation standards, applicable style guidelines, and tendencies as a writer. This is invaluable information for any writer moving forward in their career and life in general. Many people dread writing even though they have important information to communicate in written form. Working with a professional editor takes some of the stress out of the writing process, helping the writer create error-free, well-written documents.