Lisa Jahn, Professional Writer

Editing is a set of methods of standards that are applied to writing; however, just because an individual has that knowledge, does not make her an editor. An editor has a strong command of the English language, grammar, usage, diction, and spelling, along with a sharp eye for detail, a well-tuned ear, and a sense of logic. 

The term “editorial style” specifically means the set of rules and conventions used to conform a text to consistent and clear guidelines set forth by a particular publisher, medium, or field. Elements included in the “editorial style” are spelling, punctuation, abbreviations, construction of tables, presentation of statistics, selection of headings, citation of references, and more. The “editorial style” does not change the meaning of the writer’s work; instead it provides a convenient avenue for making editorial decisions. By the style creating consistency it adds to the readability of the text, gives the writer credibility, and the publication an essence of professionalism. Thus, the editor services the writer, the reader, and the publisher in making the text effective and readable.

In Editing in the Professions, I developed a foundation and practiced techniques in copyediting. A copyeditor’s job differs from the kind of critiques I may have offered fellow writers in the past. My critiques exemplified the definition of proofreading in that I critiqued for formatting, grammar, and spelling errors. Though, similar to copyediting, I did look for consistency and logic in arguments. Yet, my feedback differed in that it was offered in the form of suggestions, not decisions for conformity and those suggestions most times were not followed by identified published authorities.

I created a bibliography, which is a compilation of resources that will be useful to me in my role as a freelance professional writer or editor. My primary focus is academic and business audiences. As a freelancer, I must ensure my work meets the highest standards of quality and accuracy for an assortment of fields. The reference materials included here address a wide range of issues to which the freelance writer or editor must be acclimated, including citation styles, grammar and usage, writing and research styles, and online content. I will have a useful array of tools at my fingertips.