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Editing matters: Helping your text to shine

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.