Levels of Editing


Wordworks offers various levels of editing. After submitting a sample of your manuscript to Wordworks, together we can discuss which type of editing is most appropriate for your submission.

Take a moment to read what other clients have said.

Manuscript Evaluation

When you have a limited editing budget and/or are more interested in receiving general feedback than a detailed edit

Wordworks will read your entire manuscript, closely edit about ten pages, and write a detailed critique about the ways the organization, tone, and style work well and how they can be improved. The written evaluation is followed by a meeting either on the phone or in person. The cost of a manuscript evaluation depends on the length and complexity of a manuscript.

Developmental Editing

When you want conceptual input about the organization and scope of a manuscript at any stage of its creation

At this level, a staff member at Wordworks is more of a writing coach than a wordsmith, more of a sounding board and teacher than an editor. If you ask for a developmental edit, Wordworks will

  • Make suggestions about content, organization, and presentation
  • Identify problems of overall clarity or accuracy, such as lack of focus, redundancies, inconsistencies in tone, verbosity, and generalizations

Substantive Editing

When you want an editor to critique your manuscript’s concept, intended use, content, organization, design, and style

Substantive editing may involve restructuring or rewriting part or all of a manuscript to make sure it is logical and fits together as a coherent whole. At this level, Wordworks tends to the following issues:

  • Clear, logical development of ideas
  • Grammar*, style, clarity, diction and conciseness
  • Jargon or technical terms appropriate for the intended audience
  • Patterns that undercut your objectives such as missing transitions, unclear explanations, longwinded descriptions, an imbalance of evidence and analysis, and so on
  • Consistency of voice and tone for your intended audience

Copyediting (aka line editing)

When your manuscript needs a line-by-line edit for expression and consistency, not organization and overall purpose

At this level, Wordworks will tend to the following:

  • Grammar*, spelling, and diction while preserving the meaning and voice of the original text
  • Style and format
  • References and citations
  • Errors and inconsistencies that may have escaped the writer or earlier editors


When everything is set, but typographical and formatting errors may remain

At this level, Wordworks does the following:

  • Checks the final draft against typesetting specifications
  • Corrects errors and inconsistencies that may have escaped the writer of earlier editors
  • Reads for typographical errors
  • Notes any problems with the manuscript’s layout

*Editing for grammar includes correcting errors in the following categories:

  • Dangling modifiers
  • Illogical comparisons and mixed comparisons
  • Incorrect subordination
  • Misplaced modifiers
  • Parallelism
  • Pronoun case
  • Pronoun reference
  • Run-ons
  • Sentence fragments
  • Shifts in verb tense and mood
  • Subject verb agreement