What Are the Different Types of Editing

Books, magazines, videos and even the news we listen to on television or radio required the skills of different types of editors.

Having said that, I would be explaining the different types of editing there is , what the process is like and when these type of editing skills are required.

Great knowledge of the different types of editing makes it easier to decide who to hire for different projects without the need to panic or start the project all over again due to incompetence or errors on the part of the editor.

If you have no idea what the career opportunities are for Editors in South Africa, click on this link to my last article which would explain all you need to know about editors in South Africa.

Read Also; How to Become an Editor in South Africa

What Are the Different Types of Editing

The different types of editing which many editors specialize in include;

Developmental Editing

Developmental editing is a crucial process in the early stages of a write-up or book. This service is mostly needed by first-time authors and on some occasions seasoned authors who might be busy with other tasks.

Simply put a developmental editor helps you with the organisation and structure of your book or article. They check if there is coherence and check if everything flows in a way that your readers would understand the message you are trying to pass across.

At the end of the day, the editor makes you a better writer by giving constructive feedback on ways to improve style or organisation for the audience benefit.

Evaluation Editing

Evaluation editing is similar but different from development editing. The key difference is the need for a manuscript to be evaluated by the evaluation editor while developmental editors can work with or without a manuscript being present.

Evaluation editors use their skillset to check the structure, flow, completeness and quality of the work you have done so far. The observation gotten is always documented in a memo that describes the strengths and weaknesses they might have found during the evaluation.

Hiring an evaluation editor is a good decision especially when you want to be certain about the quality of your work before edited publishing or making promotional content for your work.

Content Editing

Content editing seeks to evaluate the paragraphs and sections within your book or article. They try to make sense of each paragraph they come across and identify better ways to ensure your content is portrayed in an appealing way to the target audience while still keeping your writing style intact.

Content editors should be patient enough to work with team members or clients through their draft manuscripts and pointing out corrections appropriate for the chapters, sections or subsections of their work as the situation requires.

Line Editing

Line editing like the name implies gives attention to the words and sentence construction in each article and book about to be published.

The aim of line editing is to eliminate words that do not communicate effectively to readers and make use of appropriate words to describe situations while reducing sentence length.

Line editing helps to remove boring details and sentences. For them, the goal is for writeups to be short, simple, concise and about the reader.


Copy editing is more detailed than the previous types of editing I mentioned earlier, this process seeks to check for spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes that might be overlooked during the writing process.

Copyeditors make sure your manuscript follows the style guide for the intended genre. They ensure that words used in sentences obey grammatical structures and rules of native speakers as it won’t be a good sight for someone in a region outside where the article/book is published to have difficulties with reading your book due to grammatical errors.


Proofreading is actually like the final stage in the book production process before being made available to the public.

Usually, the proofreader is handed the final version of the book with designs and illustrations inclusive for a final cross-check before publication is done.

Asides from errors, proofreaders also identify issues like page numbering, consistency, appropriate placement of tables and figures in text, page breaks e.t.c. and recommend to the writer or publishing house for possible corrections.

I hope that this article has been able to adequately describe the different types of editing there are. With this knowledge as a client, employee or prospective employer, you can make better decisions on the type of editorial services required by your company. Especially as the internet space has helped with increasing the need for editors and writers for different organisations.
























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