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Professional Nonfiction Editing and Rewriting

Nonfiction Revision: articles, journals, translat

Magazines, newsletters, journals and web sites rely on content that is both informative and compelling. A tight, focused style is critical to success, and a professional editor can perform different levels of revision to bring a piece into focus, from editing to a complete rewrite and reorganization. Translations can especially benefit from professional editing.

Nonfiction editing is a service to correct stylistic and grammatical problems and to improve sentence structure, creating a piece that is clean and easy to read. The editor maintains the voice of the author as edits are made. For this type of editing, the editor reviews the content for major grammatical problems such as misplaced modifiers, passive construction, parallelism in lists, smothered verbs, noun strings, clear antecedents, and more. Sentence structure is revised to add more variety and better flow to the document, improving the author’s voice. Names, abbreviations, acronyms and other facts are verified. The editor will make decisions for nonfiction pieces based on a specific style guide—often the AP Stylebook or the Chicago Manual of Style—or a house style guide.

A nonfiction rewrite is a more comprehensive service in which the editor examines the organization of the piece as a whole. The editor still works to maintain the integrity of the author’s voice and style, but seeks to refine it. The rewrite includes all elements of a standard edit as well as a partial or complete revision of the material. For a rewrite, the editor determines areas of weakness in the content, areas that benefit from research and reorganization.

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