The skill of writing is to create a context in which
other people can think.
—Edwin Schlossberg, designer (1945- )
Substantive editing includes proofreading and copyediting
as well as rewriting and restructuring at the sentence and
Sound substantive editing recasts and tightens sentences,
improves paragraph unity and coherence, and heightens
focus, readability, and reader buy-in.
The process of substantive editing engenders a symbiotic
partnership between author and editor.
In addition to the before-and-after
example below, see an
example of some of the
questions and revisions I would fax to Dr. Clark, he would
review, and we would then discuss for an hour or two over
Electric power and water supply have experienced the
same fate of housing and transportation. Constant
blackouts and total or permanent lack of water supply
have plagued the Cuban citizen, particularly after the
end of the Soviet subsidy. These two infrastructure
factors, that were never before Castro were in such a
serious condition, have contributed to make the life
of the average Cuban increasingly difficult, if not
In addition, average Cubans
experience constant blackouts and a total and
permanent lack of water — never in such seriously
short supply before Castro but particularly acute
since the end of the Soviet subsidy. Such daily
privation exacerbates an existence of substandard
housing, long lines, and reduced rations.
I have known Janis for over ten years. Throughout these
years we established an excellent working relationship. On
her part it included highly professional, thorough, and
masterful work in editing the English version of my
800-page book, Cuba: Myth and Reality, and other
professional literature. Working at a distance via fax,
telephone, and e-mail, Janis displayed patience,
flexibility, and cultural awareness. There is no question
that the final product was an excellent scholarly written
Juan M. Clark, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus Sociology
Miami Dade College
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