How do professional editors check assignments

Apr 16, 2020

Your assignment is due in two weeks. It’s a big one and you’ve worked hard. But now you’re stuck. You don’t know what else to do. You need a professional help, an editor trained for this kind of mission. The fear of getting a paper returned marked all in red is a very real one for students and professional writers alike. But no matter how scary it may feel, the process of checking and editing is important not only for making an assignment the best that they can be but also for growing as a writer. While every editor certainly has their own individual process, understanding the general methods applied can help you to communicate with your editor and understand where their feedback is coming from. Some staples within these processes include?

  • A general run-through of the work, checking and marking areas that seem awkward, need extra attention, are missing citations and/or are incorrect as well as fixing blatant spelling or grammatical mistakes.
  • A so-called copy edit is then completed. During this edit the focus on grammar, spelling, punctation and other elements of language. Here content is not examined, and it is, instead, very rule-based and clinical. Editors may either use the copy edit of the line edit to ensure that the style guidelines of the assignment (referencing/citation type, font, etc) are adhered to.
  • A line edit is then completed, looking for discrepancies or inconsistencies within the overall argument. It is within this step in the process where editors may note inconsistencies in your argument or point-of-view. Remember for research papers it is important to acknowledge those with differing opinions, but these opinions should also be rebutted. A macro, big-picture edit. Some editors choose to do this first and others save it for the end. Here big-picture points are made, and notes are given on the development of the argument, whether the argument makes sense and other large points.

Professional editors look at the entirety of your document and every element within it. Although some editors may combine steps or perform them in a different order, each editor will and should look at all of the different elements listed above to ensure a well-rounded edit of your document.

Now, all this is well and good if you've got the time to allocate to studying; however if you find yourself in a real bind, and are panicking about upcoming assignments, we are here to help.

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