The Stages of Editing

Before Submitting Your Piece

Have your workshop group give you substantive feedback on your work, looking at “big picture” elements – characterization, structure, setting, pacing, point of view, etc.

See Before Submitting Your Piece to emerge for further detail.

After Submitting Your Piece

Following submission, your piece will go through two stages of editing: Line Editing and Copy Editing.

Line Editing

The first stage is a line edit from the section editors. This stage is sometimes referred to as stylistic editing. The editors will read each piece with attention to language, scanning for clarity (i.e., readers can track meaning without obstacle or distraction) and flow (i.e., transitions are smooth, sentence structure is varied).

The section editors’ primary role is to help each author communicate clearly. While they may offer you suggestions that will enable readers to track meaning, the editors’ goal is to preserve your authorial voice. They will provide feedback on some of the language elements mentioned above via the comments feature in your Google doc. You will have an opportunity to view the document together in real time and discuss any suggestions.

If you do not agree with a particular comment or suggested revision, you are not required to make the change. The key thing is to understand why the change was suggested. When trying to decide if you should make the change, ask yourself: “Will this change make things clearer for my reader?”

Once any revisions have been made, the piece will move into the second stage of editing: the copy edit.

Copy Editing

The section editors and other members of the production team will copy edit each piece with particular attention to grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, and the emerge style guide. This stage of editing does not make extensive changes to the structure or content of your work.

The section editors may contact students with one or two editorial queries. While you won’t be contacted about every comma, you will be consulted regarding any suggested change that has the potential to alter meaning within the piece.

Stages of Book Editing
Courtesy of Rebecca Coates,