From 1000 people, one voice

Editing involves carefully reviewing material before it is published and suggesting or making changes to correct or improve it. The goal of editing is to ensure that the material is consistent and correct and that its content, language, style, and design suit its purpose and meet the needs of its audience.

What do editors do?

Professional editors perform a variety of tasks, from managing an entire publishing process to performing only a specific part of it. Regardless of the extent of their involvement, all editors need to have a broad understanding of various processes and their role within them:

  • Structural editing is assessing and shaping material to improve its organization and content.
  • Stylistic editing is editing to clarify meaning, ensure coherence and flow, and refine the language. Stylistic editing is often done as part of a structural edit or copy edit rather than as a separate step.
  • Copy editing is editing to ensure correctness, accuracy, consistency, and completeness.
  • Proofreading is examining material after layout or in its final format to correct errors in textual
    and visual elements.

What don’t editors do?

Although some professionals advertise themselves as writers and editors, the professions are different and require different skills. If you need writing and editing, you will be best served by hiring different professionals to do the work — or an agency that can supply the entire workflow. Editors are also not graphic designers — although they will supply markup indicating where graphics or layout features should be reviewed or added, they will not provide you with a finished document layout.

How do I hire an editor?

VPFO Communications & Engagement maintains a list of contract editors for different projects and purposes. Please reach out to your communications advisor, who will help you identify the professional(s) you need and connect you with one of our approved vendors.


Editors Canada promotes professional editing as key in producing effective communication. You also can look up and hire editors from their website.
Editors Canada
Brand and Marketing have guidelines for writers on the brand website
Writing on the UBC Brand website