Every business-related document has a purpose: to sell, to promote, or to offer information. Each document must be error-free to be received well by its intended audience, and that intended audience usually means your potential clients. Annoying distractions, such as misspelt words and incorrect punctuation can interrupt the flow causing your potential customers to lose interest. That means you could lose sales as well as respectability.

For a business, a website is a crucial selling machine. It never sleeps. It can be better than your best sales person, but if it doesn’t engage with your visitor and provide a professional image then your visitor will simply move onto another website. The content on your website must deliver valuable information and it has to be error-free. If a website has errors then it jeopardies sales and creditability for your business.

Editing or proofreading can improve your existing business material.

Editing’s Principles and Stages

Editing is based on five principles. The writing must be:

  • concise (staying on track without waffling)
  • clear (easily understood)
  • complete (fully understood without being ambiguous)
  • consistent (with spelling, style and tone)
  • correct form (follows the standard rules of grammar).

There are levels of editing:

  • Structural or Substantive Editing
  • Copy or Line Editing
  • Proofreading.

The condition of the material identifies what type of editing is required.

Structural or Substantive Editing

This entails a complete overhaul of the material. The order of information must be delivered in logical sequence. Tone, language, terminology used, logical flow, repetition, inconsistencies, and legal requirements fall within the substantive editing stage.

Copy Editing or Line editing

This level focuses on completeness, consistency, readability and audience suitability. Material requiring copy editing usually needs attention to spelling and grammar.

Proofreading

Chapter headings, typographical errors, spelling mistakes, page references, unclear text, names and terms, and format are scrutinised and fixed – all part of the proofreading stage.

While stages can overlap, these descriptions explain the different stages of editing.

Quite often people can hear something is wrong with a sentence when it is read. This is a sign that one or more rules of grammar have been broken. There are errors that are better at hiding than others and may not be detected when reading. Fixing those problems without a comprehensive knowledge of grammar can be a challenge and waste valuable time. However, someone with the correct training can see these errors quickly and fix accordingly.

We can help to ensure your message is not lost through spelling errors, poor grammar or weak content. Submit a sample of the documentation and we will provide a quote.

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