Your guide to the five levels of editing (infographic)

In my experience, a big challenge for writers is the inappropriate edit. You know, the guy who corrects spelling errors in your outline, or wants to rearrange the whole thing during the proofreading stage. In fact, only 32% of business writers say that their process for collecting and combining feedback works well.

I’ve written before about the five levels of editing, with posts on each type. But if your reviewers still don’t get it, lay this infographic on them. Then tell them what you’re looking for, and when you need the feedback. It will increase your chances of getting the comments that you need, rather than the ones that drive you crazy.


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  1. This seems great for a book. But how can you go through all five levels in one shot with one person when you’re simply editing for a blog, and time and resources are scarce?

    1. The five stages apply to longer projects that take weeks to work on — typically at least 5000 words. You have to collapse them for shorter projects like a blog post. Idea development, line edit, copyedit are probably sufficient for something like that.