What is Structural Editing? | Editor World: Writing and Rewriting Services

What is Structural Editing?

Structural & Substantive Editing

Sometimes writers may require a bit more than copy editing help. With all the various types of editing available, writers can ensure they get the support they need. You may have to invest in structural editing so that your finished written piece is the best it can be. In this article, we’ll explain the details of substantive editing and what you can expect when you hire someone to perform that type of editing for you.


Structural Editing Defined

Structural editing, often called substantive editing, involves making changes to a document’s structure or substance. The terms structural editing and substantive editing may be used interchangeably because they both refer to the main content of a document. Structural editing is the process of assessing and improving a document at the highest level, including organization, structure, argument, scope, audience, length, and style (Source: https://writingprogram.gwu.edu/substantive-editing-workshop). 


This type of editing is more involved than mere proofreading or line editing, which reviews grammar, punctuation, and so on. With substantive editing, the editor will go over the entire document or manuscript, looking at the big picture. Here is a sample structural editing checklist that the structural editor would follow:

  • Tone and style of the content
  • Structural arrangement
  • Language choice
  • Flow of the content
  • Character development (if it’s a fictional piece)
  • Consistent voice throughout the piece


Keep in mind that structural editing doesn’t involve changing your ideas but collaborating with you to establish the content’s goals and provide valuable feedback.


What Does Editor World’s Structural Editing or Rewriting Service Include?

At Editor World, our structural editing or rewriting service includes a thorough inspection of your draft’s content. We combine developmental editing with structural editing to help save you money since many writers don’t want to go through two processes for this. Our rewriting services can help writers in this stage of the writing process.


Developmental editing is closely aligned with substantive editing; they both analyze the larger scope of the document and review the theme, voice, consistency, tone, and storyline (if applicable). In other words, they will look at the main content versus analyzing the text for punctuation errors (a proofreader handles that).


After obtaining structural editing, you can be assured that the big picture of your content will be solid.


Types of Editing Editor World Offers

Editor World offers other types of editing services as well, which is of value to writers. Once your content goes through the structural editing or developmental editing stage, it is beneficial to have your content go through the next two important phases of editing. These phases are copy editing and proofreading.


An editor will look at your document line by line during copy editing to help eliminate awkward phrases, passive voice, incorrect word usage, and more. Copy editing will also assist you with improving the overall word choice so you are not using cliches and your word choice is appropriate for the audience. For example, if you are publishing a blog, the word choice will be at a different reading level than if you are writing a dissertation paper.


Proofreading is the final step in ensuring your content is error-free. The proofreader will scan your work for formatting errors, punctuation mistakes, spelling errors, and any other mistakes that slipped through.


When you use an experienced Editor World writer or editor, you can have confidence that your work will be outstanding.


Do you have a book in progress or a written document that needs a second look? Structural editing will provide you with that broad review of your content and give you helpful feedback. This allows you to move forward with writing clearly and concisely. At Editor World, our native English writing staff is here to make sure your content conveys the message you want. Get in touch with us for more information about our rates and specials. Editor World is also available for academic editingdissertation editing, thesis proofreading, and so much more!