S ubstantive editing (or ‘structural editing’) focuses on the overall structure of your document. Whether you are writing for clients, customers, academics, students or children, I make sure the format, style and tone are suitable for your purpose. Any major rewriting or rewording is done during this stage.
A substantive edit may take in the following areas:
Structure and content
- The table of contents is formatted to suit the way readers will use the document.
- Chapters may be reorganised so that topics are covered in a balanced way.
- Material may be reordered, removed or added to create a logical structure.
- Subheadings and captions may be added so readers can quickly find their way.
- Quotes or tips may be highlighted in boxes or sidebars.
- Additional notes may be included as footnotes, appendixes or chapter notes.
- Some information may be summarised in tables, graphs or maps.
- An index, an abstract or cross-references may be helpful in a complex document.
- Illustrations are chosen to suit the interests and age of the readers.
- A glossary may be added to help readers understand unfamiliar words.
- A coherent style is applied across all parts of your document.
- A referencing style is chosen to suit the type of document.
- The language level and tone are chosen to suit the audience and the topic.
- Regional words might be changed or explained for an overseas audience.
- Headings may be reworded to match your preferred style.
- Plain English rewording may make your document easier to understand.