There are three levels of editing: substantive editing, copy editing and proofreading. A comprehensive edit normally includes substantive and copy editing, whereas proofreading usually happens once the document is ready for publishing.
The substantive edit will ensure that the structure, content, language, style and presentation of the document are suitable for its intended purpose and readership. The substantive edit includes:
- identifying problems of clarity, logic and structure
- editing and rewriting as required into plain English
- cutting redundant material to improve presentation
- suggesting elements to help readability, such as illustrations, a glossary or an index.
The copy edit will achieve accuracy, clarity and consistency in the document. The copy edit includes:
- ensuring consistency of language, spelling, grammar, punctuation and style, using the department’s own style guide, the Style manual for authors, editors and printers and the Macquarie dictionary
- checking all heading levels for consistency and logic
- checking consistency of referencing system and glossary
- checking tables and graphs against the text.
- checking typeset copy against the final document for typographical errors, presentation, colour and page falls.