Introduction to editing principles and practice

This session introduces the fundamentals of editing and provides practical tools and techniques that can improve the quality of any communication. With a focus on Australian standards, the presentation explains the different levels of editing (proofreading, copyediting and structural editing), work methods, and considerations for different audiences and publication formats.

Editors use reference materials and style sheets to make and record editing decisions for any given communication. While spelling and grammatical conventions evolve over time, a well-edited publication is internally consistent and effectively engages its audience. Spelling and style decisions can be especially important in cross-cultural communication, where editors must be mindful of the differences between English dialects.
Editing can be done by hand or through electronic mark-up, and queries to the author or client should always be clear and polite. This presentation explains word-processing tools that editors commonly use to review publications thoroughly and efficiently.

Editors must always consider the needs of the target audience, making suggestions to improve text flow, readability and accessibility where appropriate to the purpose and format of the communication. The presentation also explains the principles of ‘plain English’ endorsed by the Australian Government’s Style manual for authors, editors and printers. Adopting plain English ensures that communications are clear and inclusive.

An understanding of editing principles and practice can assist translators who are committed to producing communications of the highest quality.