The elements checked by the editor may include:
- Typographical errors;
- End-of-line word divisions and bad breaks (incorrect line or page breaks);
- Spelling errors;
- Errors in word usage;
- Errors in grammar and syntax;
- Errors and inconsistencies in punctuation;
- Establish and maintain consistent patterns (e.g., capitalisation);
- Format of document, text, citations and references;
- Apparent errors in arithmetic and in other facts within the realm of general knowledge;
- The styling of tables, graphs, and other art, including their labels, captions, and text mentions;
- Conventions such as the use of italics, boldface, and underlines, of metric or imperial measurements, and of abbreviations and symbols, the treatment of technical terms, and the choice of spelling and punctuation styles;
- Ambiguous vocabulary and syntax;
- Redundancies and verbosity;
- Jargon that is inappropriate for the intended audience;
- Connections and transitions, parallels, and paragraphing;
- Consistent style in headings and in captions for tables, figures, and illustrations;
- Statements that should be checked for accuracy, and follow up as required. (The flaws the editor watches for under this standard are not those involving the content of a thesis but, rather, incidental references: e.g., “Manchester is east of York”; “Skiddaw is the largest of the Lakes Mountains.”);
- Inconsistencies in logic, facts, and details.
The editor will strive to make your text as readable, coherent and comprehensible as possible. “Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very”; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be”. Mark Twain A definition of editing: “The editing process often begins with the author’s idea for the work itself, continuing as a collaboration between the author and the editor as the work is created. As such, editing is a practice that includes creative skills, human relations, and a precise set of methods”. An editor polishes and refines, (S)he directs the focus of the story or article along a particular course. (S)He cuts out what doesn’t fit, what is unessential to the purpose of the story. (S)He enhances the major points, drawing attention to places where the audience should focus.
“Everyone needs an editor”. Tim Foote.
A task common to all editors is to ensure that the product they produce is the best it can be in the time available and with the resources available. The editor is responsible for the type of content in the newsletter, the look of the newsletter and the number of articles in a particular issue.
“Would you convey my compliments to the purist who reads your proofs and tell him or her that I write in a sort of broken-down patois which is something like the way a Swiss waiter talks, and that when I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it will stay split, and when I interrupt the velvety smoothness of my more or less literate syntax with a few sudden words of bar-room vernacular, that is done with the eyes wide open and the mind relaxed but attentive”. Raymond Chandler.