English text

Editing

Developmental editing

Even great writers can benefit from working with an editor to refine the structure and content of their books, articles, and other writing projects.

Many writers struggle to focus their ideas or determine the right balance of content for their intended audience, especially if their skills lie in another field or if English is their second or third language.

I help writers develop outlines and proposals, revise and restructure their drafts, or make modifications to satisfy the requirements of peer review.

Copy editing and proofreading

The devil really is in the details. Communicating clearly requires an expert eye for consistent and effective syntax, grammar, word choice, register, and tone.

I’ve been editing texts for specialist and general audiences for the past 20 years using a variety of style guides, including the Chicago Manual of Style (my favorite), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Associated Press, Reuters, the EU Publications Office, the American Psychological Association, and the Modern Language Association.

Other editorial services

Research and content curation

Cutting through information overload to find reliable information is one of my specialties. I can provide you with a customized set of content for linking or reference.

Content reviews and inventories

Is the language in your content appropriate for your audience? Is it accurate, easy to read, and up to date? Contact me to discuss a review or inventory of your content.

Style guide and editorial plan development

Standard style guides are helpful, but every organization has its own preferences and unique style for content. Often, these preferences are unstated, which can lead to inconsistencies. I can compile and develop a custom style guide for your needs.

Factchecking

In this era of misinformation and information overload, it’s more important than ever to verify the accuracy of information. Whether you’re writing a book or compiling research for a report, I can help identify the best reference sources or factcheck your text to your specifications.

Image: Amazon
Image: Milenio.com

Examples of my work

The Most Fragile Objects by Alberto Chimal, translated by George Henson (katakana editores, 2020)

The Other Abyssinians: The Northern Oromo and the Making of Ethiopian History, 1855-1913 by Brian Yates (University of Rochester Press, 2020)

Mephisto’s Waltz: Selected Short Stories by Sergio Pitol, translated by George Henson (Deep Vellum, 2019)

Moral Responsibility and Risk in Society: Examples from Emerging Technologies, Public Health, and the Environment by Jessica Fahlquist (Routledge, 2018)

to

edit

/ˈɛdɪt/

Verb: To prepare (written material) for publication by correcting, condensing, or otherwise modifying it.

Example: My book was edited by Michele Rosen.

FAQ

Answers

What is a style guide and why is it important?
A style guide provides everyone involved in the creation of a text with a common set of ground rules about spelling, punctuation, abbreviations, reference formats, and more.

Most importantly, style guides enable consistency and clarity.

There are many standard style guides used in different subject areas, including AP, Chicago, MLA, IEEE, APA, Harvard, and Reuters. A standard style guide can be supplemented or even replaced by a custom style guide designed to meet your needs.

What’s the difference between proofreading, copy editing, and developmental editing?
The primary difference between these three types of editing concerns the level of the document in question.

Developmental editing – concept, structure, evidence (section/document level). This type of editing can take place before writing even begins, for example by an editor working with a writer to create an outline or even a project description.

Copy editing – word choice, accuracy, clarity (sentence/paragraph level)

Proofreading – spelling, punctuation, grammar (word/sentence level)

Developmental editing tends to take place in the earlier phases of a project, while proofreading tends to occur at the end of the editing process.

Each of these types of editing can be adjusted to provide a light edit or a heavy edit, as determined by audience expectations and author preferences.

What are some of the differences between variants of English?
While the number of native English speakers is smaller than the number of Chinese or Spanish speakers, it is the most widely spoken language in the world when we include speakers of English as a secondary or foreign anguage. The biggest difference between countries tends to be vocabulary. Using too many words from the wrong variant of English can make an easy-to-read text impenetrable to your intended audience.
What is post editing? How is it related to other kinds of editing?
Post editing is the term applied to editing machine translation. On one hand, it’s important to distinguish between editing human language and post editing of machine language. But ultimately, most readers don’t care how the text was produced. They care that it is accurate and clear. That’s why I think of post-editing as a form of editing.