Editing matters: Helping your text to shine

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Posted: 
September 5, 2017
Written by: Anne Louise Mahoney , Editors Canada

Canadian style is a bit of this and a bit of that: some British style, some US style, and some Canuck style! So how can you keep it all straight if you’re writing for Canadian readers?

Here’s where an editor can help. Editors are experienced professionals who have learned their skills in training programs or on the job. We can bring consistent spelling and other styles to your text, as well as suggest ways to make sure the text is clear, well organized and engaging for the intended audience. From books to online materials (and everything in between), editors help text to shine.

Many editors refer to Professional Editorial Standards, a valuable guide to the knowledge, skills and practices usually needed for editing English-language materials.

The standards outline the work that needs to be done during the four main stages of editing:

  • structural editing (improving organization and content)
  • stylistic editing (clarifying meaning and refining the language)
  • copy editing (ensuring correctness, accuracy, consistency and completeness)
  • proofreading (correcting errors in text and images when material is in layout or its final format)

Some of the things we check include:

  • the need to Canadianize (adapt a text for Canadian readers)
  • inclusivity (avoidance of insensitive or offensive terms)
  • spelling (is it Canadian?)
  • compounds and hyphens
  • capitalization
  • abbreviations
  • punctuation
  • measurements (metric, imperial, time, geographical and more)
  • citation (using various referencing systems)
  • legal and ethical issues
  • French used in an English text

Editors work on countless subject areas in the corporate, technical, government, not-for-profit, academic, educational and publishing sectors.

Would you like to make your text shine with the help of an editor? The Editors’ Association of Canada (Editors Canada), a not-for-profit organization that promotes professional editing as key in producing effective communication, can definitely help you. For more information, visit Editors Canada.

Disclaimer

The opinions expressed in posts and comments published on the Our Languages blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Language Portal of Canada.

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About the author

Anne Louise Mahoney

Anne Louise Mahoney has edited everything from reports and web copy to non-fiction books for children and adults. She has always loved reading, which takes her on amazing journeys to new places, both real and imagined. The world of language is filled with never-ending discoveries!

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Kudos to everyone on the Portal team for launching the Our Languages blog! And congrats, Anne Louise, for being first in line to publish!

Thanks, Robin! What an honour to be part of the launch of the new blog!

Using an editor can save you so much time and help you to put your thoughts on paper in a clear and concise way! I definitely recommend speaking to an editor if you’re hoping to make your text shine.

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