In today’s fast-paced culture, presenting clear, concise and well-written material is more important than ever. All too often, professional materials are distributed with inaccuracies, spelling mistakes and bad punctuation and grammar, which all but obscure the writer’s message. Whether you’re writing learning resources, a novel, advertising material, covering letter or putting together a presentation, the power of excellent copy should never be underestimated.

Why do I need an editor?

Even the best writers in the world are often incapable of self-editing, as they lack the detachment needed to see their work as a reader would. The same is true of all writing; be it an email, report or journal article. That’s where editors come in.


Photo by efks/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by efks/iStock / Getty Images

What does an editor do?

The copy-editor’s job is to make sure that content is easy to read, logical and free of spelling and grammatical mistakes. A copy-editor will check spelling and grammar and that the content ‘flows’ and is logical, reorganising when necessary. They may also do some fact-checking, although a full fact check is a proofreader’s job. Importantly, the editor will keep the author’s voice and won’t make any large, instrumental changes without first discussing with the author.

A copy-editor’s job also includes checking and correcting:

  • style
  • consistency
  • facts
  • ambiguity
  • logic
  • tables, figures and illustrations
  • cross-references
  • spelling
  • usage
  • grammar
  • punctuation.

The copy-editor will provide feedback on length, sentence structure, suitability of content, consistency, accuracy and any potential legal issues.

For websites, a copy-editor will:

  • create a style guide
  • make content web friendly
  • write effective links
  • check multimedia
  • create a site map
  • use your own content management system.

What doesn’t an editor do?

  • proofreading – if you think you need a proofreader rather than a copy-editor, look at our proofreading information page
  • research
  • ghost writing.

How do you edit?

We edit in Word using track changes so you can see what’s been done and also edit PDFs; we’ll add comments using sticky notes.

What do you edit?

At Ethos Editing, we edit anything that is written, no matter how big or small it is. This includes:

  • learning resources
  • journal and magazine articles
  • CVs and covering letters
  • fiction
  • non-fiction
  • emails
  • business collateral: reports, marketing materials, email, presentations
  • marketing and advertising material
  • anything else: just ask!

How much will it cost?

The cost to copy-edit content depends on the level of edit required. Our prices range from £12-£30 per 1,000 words (we will figure out the rate based on a sample you send us).

If you think you need proofreading instead of a copy-edit, have a look at our proofreading page.