Jeremy Butterfield Editorial

Making words work for you

Editing & copy-editing services

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Having problems with your writing?

Difficulty finding the right words?

Stumped for a structure?

Fretting about grammar?

Let me help you.

Getting a professional editor to read your writing works wonders. (But don’t leave it to the last minute if you want the best result.)

Whether it be a business report, an application, a thesis, a tender, or wording for your website, I can work with you on what you have written.

I can also create something from scratch, if that’s what you want.

An Oxford University Press author, and former Editor-in-Chief of Collins Dictionaries, I enjoy helping people find the best way to express what they really want to say.

Email: jeremybutterfield@btinternet.com

What does copy-editing mean?

It is much, much more than simply checking spelling and grammar.

It is a collaboration between you and me.

Together, we make sure that what you put in writing conveys exactly what you mean.

(It can be hard copy, online, or onscreen.)

Together, we tease out what you really want to say.

Together, we find the best way to convey your messages in a style that your audience can connect with.

What precisely will we do?

Each project is different – that’s part of the fun.

In essence, we’ll put “the three Cs” into your writing: clarity, consistency, conciseness.

Being CLEAR includes:

  • having a tight structure
  • avoiding ambiguous words and phrases
  • weeding out awkward wording
  • choosing words suitable for your readers

Being CONSISTENT includes:

  • sticking to the same message
  • making sure you don’t accidentally contradict yourself
  • using the same spelling, abbreviations, capitalization, etc. throughout

being CONCISE includes:

  • not repeating information
  • pruning anything unnecessary
  • preferring short words, sentences, and paragraphs

In addition …

Grammar mistakes can put some people off and undermine your message
I’m a grammar expert, and will raise with you anything that might be suspect.

Spelling mistakes are even worse
Spellcheckers can let through words that you did not mean. I will weed them out for you.

Jargon can be fine, in the right place …
… but using jargon can obscure your message. Readers have to “translate” it mentally. That makes it harder for them to follow your thoughts.

The right “tone of voice”
An informal, chatty style is suitable for the general public, but not for a specialist or academic audience.

Together we’ll give your writing the tone and style that suit your intended readership.

(Here are some general tips on writing that I wrote for Oxford University Press.)

How does it work?

You:

  1. send me your draft or a representative portion (in confidence)
  2. tell me what you think needs doing

I:

  1. assess what work that will involve from me
  2. (possibly, suggest other things you have not covered)
  3. project a timing
  4. give you a quotation

We:

  1. agree a brief
  2. discuss any queries that arise while I am editing
  3. jointly agree a final version

I can work in Word or Adobe Acrobat, or on hard copy.

Here’s a link to some “before and after” examples.

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