Effective written communication is essential in today’s competitive business world. How a company or a business looks on paper can either make or break its reputation. An impeccably written and concise corporate or business document—such as a company profile, business presentation, company brochure, and business proposal—conveys professionalism to potential clients and investors, which, in turn, can boost a company’s or a business’s revenues.
While most companies and business owners put great effort into producing documents that best communicate their intended message, only a few recognize the value of professional editing and proofreading services. Editing and proofreading are essential in business, particularly because most companies produce hundreds of documents each year. A corporate or business document that is riddled with grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors conveys carelessness and unprofessionalism and can undermine the credibility that a company or a business has worked hard to achieve.
In addition, a botched corporate or business document can have financial and legal repercussions for a company or a business. A poorly written marketing material can produce more losses for a company than gains. A vague work guideline for staff can lead to inefficiencies, which can negatively affect a company’s sales. Furthermore, an ambiguous customer manual can produce costly customer service queries or worse, lawsuits.
Common Editing and Proofreading Misconceptions
With all the aforementioned significances of professional editing and proofreading, why do many companies and businesses still do not avail of them?
A common misconception of companies and businesses is that simply letting the author of a document or an in-house writer check, edit, and proofread a document before it gets published or distributed is enough. On the contrary, to ensure an error-free and high-quality corporate or business document, a pair of “fresh, professional eyes” is necessary because often, an author becomes immune and unobjective to their mistakes after reading their own writing many times. This is where professional editors and proofreaders can come in handy.
In addition, according to Papercheck, LLC, a San Francisco-based essay editing and proofreading company, a common misconception of professional writers is that using the grammar-checking software of their word processors is enough. For instance, the “Spelling & Grammar” proofing feature of MS Word does not have the capability to spot all grammatical and spelling errors. This is because it—as well as other similar software—is not yet on par with professional editors and proofreaders, who are specifically trained for such task.
Therefore, it is crucial for companies and businesses to avail of professional editing and proofreading services. In addition, it is important for them to know the difference between “editing” and “proofreading” and the different types of editing.
Types of Editing
Editing and proofreading are terms that are often used interchangeably by most people. However, they are very different from each other. Editing involves improving the tone, flow, and style of a document, while proofreading is the final stage of the editing process and as such, it only aims to check for minor errors.
There are four main types of editing. Below are detailed descriptions of each:
- Substantive editing
- The most intensive type of editing.
- Under this type of editing, an editor conducts a thorough review of a document, checking its structure, coherence, organization, accuracy, and consistency.
- Entire sentences/paragraphs may be removed/added/revised.
- An editor checks a document for grammar, spelling, style, repetition, and word usage errors.
- The focus of this type of editing is improving sentences and not making major changes to the content of a document.
- Formatting (style editing)
- An editor makes sure that the content of a document is in accordance with the specifications of a specific format or style guideline (e.g., The Chicago Manual of Style, Associated Press style, and others).
- The final stage of the editing process, and the lightest type of editing.
- Only minor errors are checked under this type of editing. Minor errors include the following:
- Spelling / word usage / typographical errors
- Capitalization errors
- Punctuation errors
- Grammatical errors
- Style errors (e.g., usage of “10” instead of “ten” and SI unit symbols for units of measurement)
Professional Editing and Proofreading Services
In this information age, there are plenty of companies that offer professional editing and proofreading services. In the Philippines, among the leading companies that offer topnotch editing and proofreading services is Lexcode Inc. An ISO 9001:2015-certified translation company based in the business district of Makati City, it also offers editing and proofreading services, among other multilingual services. With a headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, it aims to be Asia’s premier localization company and the leading one-stop shop for all editing and proofreading needs in the Philippines.