Types of Editing


Structural EDiting

Structural editing is usually the earliest stage of editing a document, looking at the document as a single, unified whole. Structural editing focuses on the intention and organization of a document. Like the scaffolding on the Acropolis, structural editing identifies the main pillars of your document and strengthens them by constructing a clear sequence of ideas, visual elements, and text. A document can go through structure editing at any stage.

Copy or stylistic editing

Copy editing and stylistic editing both look at a document at the sentence level. Copy editing focuses on improving the clarity, coherence, and rhythm of a document by addressing sentence and paragraph construction. Like the architecture of the Arc de Triomphe, copy editing strives to create consistency throughout. Stylistic editing focuses on improving the same elements as copy editing by addressing word choice and appropriate language. Copy and stylistic editing often go hand in hand and can be combined or done separately.




Proofreading is a final edit of the minute details to identify any formatting errors, typos, and punctuation or grammatical errors. If your document also contains visual elements and navigation elements, proofreading ensures that these are properly formatted and consistently referenced across the document. Proofreading is the final step in the editing process. A document that is ready to be proofread should already be formatted for publication.

Plain Language EDiting

Plain Language editing is a specific type of copy editing that focuses on making your material available to an audience with a range of reading levels. Plain language editing strives to make documents as accessible as possible, adjusting text to a comfortable reading level, using only familiar vocabulary, and choosing graphics that are intuitive and easy to understand. Plain language editing can be done to any document, and is recommended for documents whose target audience is the “general public”.