Why Is Editing Important in Writing? 5 Reasons Not to Skip It

Why is editing important in writing? Read on to discover why you shouldn’t skip editing and learn how to work with your editor like a pro. 

Before pressing publish, send or submit, you need to make sure the final blog post, article or book chapter represents your best work.

If you’re wondering why is editing important in writing, it goes a step beyond basic proofreading. It involves ensuring a piece is free from grammatical errors and problems. It also involves reviewing the structure of your work and checking it’s on brief and resonates with readers or publishers. Working with an editor is part of a process that professional authors follow if you’re writing or publishing something longer, like a book. 

Why Is Editing Important in Writing? 5 Key Reasons

Why is editing important in writing?

Part of the writing process is learning to revise the piece to make it error-free. The revising stage shows the importance of editing. There are many reasons that copyediting, even involving a professional editor at times, is important, but here are the top five.

1. Professional Editing Catches More Grammar Errors

A misplaced comma or a glaring typo is something you might overlook when you proofread your own writing. You know that the sentence should pause, or you understand what the typo should say. Yet if you send a piece to a publisher with these types of glaring errors, your work stands a greater chance of rejection.

Hiring a professional editing service helps you catch these kinds of editors. A copyeditor is not familiar with your writing and thus won’t gloss over errors. You will end up with a cleaner copy when re-writing your first draft after a professional editor takes a look.

2. Professional Editing Clarifies Your Writing

A professional proofreader will catch errors, but a professional editor will help your writing express your meaning more clearly. They can spot wordiness, eliminate passive voice usage, and increase clarity by suggesting sentence structure and paragraphs changes.

After a few rounds of editing, the end product is a piece that says what you mean in a way that people can easily understand. Your improved syntax after editing goes beyond grammar and spelling errors and ensures your work makes sense.

3. Professional Editing Helps with Formatting

Each style guide, such as APA or MLA, has its formatting requirements. Many are pretty strict, and failure to follow them could lead to your work being rejected or your grade lowered. 

A good editor will know these style guides well, so any formatting issues get taken care of immediately. Again, this helps your final piece to look professional and publication-worthy.

4. Professional Editing Gets Fresh Eyes on Your Work

Why is editing important in writing?
Enlisting the help of an editor as part of the revision process gets a fresh pair of eyes in the mix

Editing your own work is not always easy. Does every paragraph support your thesis statement? Does each paragraph have a topic sentence and supporting facts.

These are the types of questions that can be difficult to ask when you edit your piece of writing. Enlisting the help of an editor as part of the revision process gets a fresh pair of eyes in the mix, so you get accurate answers to these vital questions.

5. Professional Editing Gives Your Writing the Wow Factor

When you hire a professional editor to tackle your writing, you should expect a piece that’s stronger and more concise. That applies whether you’re submitting it to a school as a piece of academic writing, hoping to publish a work professionally or self-publishing a book.

A clean, edited, error-free piece of writing that is free from formatting errors and follows the APA or MLA format perfectly is going to stand out. Professional editing can also ensure that the piece has the right word counts to fit the publication or academic platform, decreasing your chances of rejection. If it’s a book, it’ll encourage more positive reviews. And if it’s an article, it’ll make a better impression on readers.

Tips for Working with a Professional Editor

A blogger or freelance writer can probably edit their articles with the help of software and some practice. After all, it’s relatively easy for them to fix errors and the consequences of a mistake are minor. However, if you’re working on commercial materials or a book chapter, either commission a professional editor or ask another team member or writer to edit your work.

 As you enlist the help of an editor for your writing, there are some things you can do to make the process go more smoothly. Here are some tips to help.

1. Know Your Goals

First, know your writing goals before hiring an editor.

  • Do you want help with grammar errors only?
  • Are you an ESL student who needs help with sentence structure, vocabulary and syntax as well?
  • Do you have specific formatting needs?
  • Do you want structural feedback, copyediting for them to check for typos and grammar mistakes?

Communicate all of these things to your editor. Doing so will help your editor target their work to what you need. Similarly, if an editor commissioned you, ask them what the piece’s goals are so you can edit accordingly.

2. Avoid Sending An Editor Your First Draft

Ideally, you want an editor to catch the errors you can’t see on your own. 

Depending on the deadline, rather than sending over the first draft, wait a few hours or days. That way, you can proofread, revise and fix some apparent errors. Using the best grammar checker you can afford will help, and it’ll reduce the amount of time your editor spends on your work and, potentially, their fee.

Then, send a revised copy that gives the editor a chance to catch more subtle writing mistakes that are harder to detect than typos and misspellings.

Similarly, if the editor commissioned you to write for their publication, this step prevents you from sending over a draft with silly mistakes.

3. Agree On What An Edit Comprises 

Professional editing is an essential part of the writing process, but it has its limits. Your editor isn’t likely to check your references or scan your work for plagiarism. Even with a professional editor, you must do your due diligence to take care of these other aspects of the writing process.

Similarly, a developmental editor is unlikely to find and fix grammar issues in your work. Conversely, a copyeditor will only focus on sentence structure rather than the piece as a whole. Although some editors will provide all of these services, you need to establish what they’ll find, fix or comment on in a draft.

Similarly, if an editor commissioned you, ask what the style guide looks like so you can write to it.

5. Agree On A Rate Upfront

Editors charge by the word, the hour and or by the piece in question. It’s best to clarify what these fees are upfront before hiring an editor. It would also help to ask about their turnaround time and how many rounds of revisions you can expect from them.

Similarly, ask how many rounds of edits they typically expect from clients or freelance writers if an editor commissioned you to write an article for them.

A Final Word on Why Is Editing Important in Writing

Whether you are writing for an academic setting or trying to get a work published, you need the correct writing skills to get the job done. Yet even the most professional writer can benefit from professional editing and proofreading services.

Hiring an editor gives you a fresh set of eyes on your piece to catch typos, grammar and syntax errors, and clarity problems. You will end up with a finished piece that is effective at communicating your meaning and ready for publication. If you still need help editing, check out our self-editing checklist.

FAQs on Why Is Editing Important in Writing

Why is editing important in the writing process?

Editing is an essential step in the writing process, coming between your first draft and revising. It gives you the chance to have someone else look at your piece and provide suggestions to make it even better than it already is.

What is the purpose of revising your writing?

Even the most skilled writers are not perfect. They will make typos and grammar mistakes that need adjustment, and often clarity issues pop up due to a writer’s writing style and skill level. Revising a work ensures these issues do not show up in the final piece.

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  • Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006. She specializes in education content and real estate writing but enjoys a wide gamut of topics. Her goal is to connect with the reader in an engaging, but informative way. Her work has been featured on USA Today, and she ghostwrites for many high-profile companies. As a former teacher, she is passionate about both research and grammar, giving her clients the quality they demand in today's online marketing world.