In general, editing is the processing of reviewing a piece of writing and making useful changes. But did you know that there are several different kinds and methods of editing?

Each type of editing has a specific goal for how to improve a piece of writing, and there are some variations when you’re editing non-fiction v. fiction, or a book v. essay v. blog post.

At WSU, we have our own editing process that blog editors use to edit every post.

Step 1: Content Editing

The Goal:

At the content editing stage, the goal is to make sure that the post is headed in a good direction overall. The editor will look at big-picture things like how relevant the topic is to students, how the post is structured, and how the post ties back to WSU.

If an editor finds issues, they will provide recommendations and ask the writer to revise the post.

This back-and-forth revision process can take time, so writers and editors needs to plan for several buffer days between the post due date and the publishing date.

Writer Expectations:

Remember that you are writing for an audience— not just for yourself. Make sure that your post is interesting, relevant or valuable to a current WSU student or a future student.

Turn your posts in on time, so that you allow yourself time to make any revisions if needed.

Respond promptly to requests from your blog editor to make revisions on a post.

Editor Expectations:

Put yourself in the mindframe of a current WSU student or future student.

Read through the post and check for the following:

  • Is the overall content relevant to students?
  • Is the post well-organized overall and include the appropriate depth of information? Is it scannable?
  • Are there any problems with clarity or accuracy?
  • Are there any areas to include links for more information about WSU clubs, departments, services etc?
  • Does this post support the overall WSU brand and reputation?

If you find issues in any of these areas, make recommendations on how to fix it and send the post back to the writer. It’s important to have the writer make revisions on their post because the goal is to showcase their personal writing “voice”.  

Provide constructive feedback, which also teaches the writer how to improve their writing for future posts. Here are some tips for content editing.

Rearrange the editorial calendar if needed to allow extra time for revisions.

Step 2: Copy Editing

The Goal:

When copy editing, the goal is to make sure that the post is free of errors and formatted in a way that is visually pleasing and easy to read. The editor will fix any misspellings, missing punctuation and grammar issues. They will also add subheadings and resize or replace photos or GIFs if needed.

At this stage, the editor will usually make changes without notifying the writer first.

Writer Expectations:

Respond promptly to any questions from your editor.

Editor Expectations:

Read through the post and make the following changes:

  • Correct any mistakes in spelling, grammar or punctuation
  • Add subheadings to improve clarity and readability
  • Convert sentences into bullet point or ordered lists to improve readability
  • Replace photos or GIFs if necessary (too small, too low quality, doesn’t connect back message very well)

Here are some tips about copy editing.

If you find an often repeated mistake—for instance using “it’s” instead of “its” or misspelling Kryzsko— gently let the writer know so that they can avoid it in their next post.

Step: 3 Proofreading

The Goal:

Proofreading is one last opportunity to catch any typos or formatting errors. Don’t be tempted to skip this step! It takes just a few minutes but proofreading can save the hassle of correcting the mistake later.

Writer Expectations:

Proofread your published post and send any changes back to the editor promptly.

Editor Expectations:

Read through the post in the Wordpress text editor before you publish it.

Send a link to the published post to the writer and ask them to proofread once as well.

Promptly make any changes that the writer finds.