Practice notes

Page owner: Information director

You'll find here some short fact sheets and resources about various practical aspects of editing and proofreading or working as an editor. Select the thumbnail image to download the PDF. If you are an editor or proofreader you may find some of the free resources in this first list useful to pass to clients to explain what you do, especially our booklet about working with editorial professionals.

For CIEP members only


Proofreading or editing? A quick guide to using editorial professionals

CIEP factsheet: Proofreading vs copyediting

Working with an experienced editorial professional makes sense if you are producing any sort of written text. This free booklet will show you why. Learn what editors and proofreaders do and how they can help you produce clear and consistent communications.

  • Use our ‘who does what and when’ chart to find the right person to work with you.
  • Apply the tips and proofreading checklist to help check your own writing.

PDF download, 24 pages

Proofreading or copyediting?

CIEP factsheet: Proofreading vs copyediting

Do you need proofreading or copyediting? This fact sheet summarises some of the differences to help you find the right kind of editor to work on your text. Editors may find it a useful resource to pass onto clients.

Training for proofreading or copyediting

CIEP factsheet: Training for copy-editing or proofreading

This fact sheet lists some of the skills and knowledge you should learn to work as an editorial professional. There’s more to it than being good at spotting typos.

Imagine an editor

CIEP focus paper: Imagine an editor

The CIEP’s honorary president, David Crystal, puts the case for using the services of a professional editor. A good editor, as he makes clear, is not a pedant or a self-styled member of the grammar police, but someone who reads the author’s work carefully, objectively and sympathetically; points out ambiguity and lack of clarity, checks references and cross-references for accuracy and consistency, and ensures that the style follows the stylistic norms of the publisher. Someone, in other words, who can keep the author ‘linguistically and creatively safe’.

In a globalised world, should we retain different Englishes?

CIEP focus paper: In a globalised world, should we retain different Englishes?

Professor Lynne Murphy questions whether a worldwide standard English would help us communicate, or whether there's value in retaining the distinct voices of the many different Englishes across the globe.

Good practice for author queries

CIEP factsheet: Good practice for author queries

This fact sheet summarises some good practice tips on writing queries to authors, gleaned from the CIEP's experienced trainers and mentors.

Good editorial relationships

CIEP factsheet: Good editorial relationships

This infographic has some top tips for building good working relationships between client and editor.

The publishing workflow

CIEP factsheet: The publishing workflow

This infographic sets out the ideal stages in the publishing workflow, for all sorts of texts from documents to books, and highlights where editors and proofreaders can help.

For CIEP members only

Please first log into the members' area of our website to download these member-only resources.

Academic editing in the humanities and social sciences

CIEP factsheet: Academic editing

Academic clients include academic publishers, packaging companies, academic institutions and independent authors. This fact sheet looks at the general considerations when working in this area, and how to get started.

Being aware of gendered language

CIEP factsheet: Being aware of gendered language

Language can sometimes perpetuate unconscious biases, stereotypes and unfair assumptions. It’s our professional responsibility to advise the authors we work with if their use of gendered language is problematic and to help them to find inclusive alternatives. This fact sheet summarises some of the main points to look out for and how to sensitively raise issues with your author.

Dealing with scope creep

CIEP factsheet: Dealing with scope creep

Scope creep happens when a project’s workload expands beyond what was originally agreed between the client and the editor or proofreader. This fact sheet will help you learn strategies for identifying and dealing with scope creep to avoid negative consequences for you, your client or the project.

Editing efficiency

CIEP factsheet: Editing efficiency

Experienced editors use a range of tools and techniques to achieve greater efficiency, making their work more financially viable. Here we look at some timesaving tools for working in Word, which is the program professional editors use most often to edit text.

Getting started with macros

CIEP factsheet: Getting started with macros

Efficient editors use macros in Word to speed up repetitive tasks or carry out several actions at once. This fact sheet will introduce you to macros, step you through creating and running a macro and get you thinking about how they can make your editorial practice more efficient.

Getting your first clients

CIEP factsheet: Getting your first clients

This fact sheet gives some useful tips for getting those all-important first clients when you are starting an editorial business.

Reference books and resources for editors

CIEP factsheet: Reference books and resources for editors

There are very many books and resources on the English language, but you can't (and shouldn't) buy them all when you're starting out. This sheet highlights some of the essentials and priorities for supporting your editorial practice.

What will happen to my editorial business if I die?

CIEP factsheet: What will happen to my editorial business if I die?

It is good professional practice to plan how your business matters will be dealt with after your death. This fact sheet looks at what to consider when drawing up a succession plan.

Focus papers

The state of gendered language

CIEP focus paper: The state of gendered language

In this discussion paper, Sarah Grey looks at recent changes around gender and language. She starts with a quick review of how language change works, looks at some specific examples of recent changes, and ends with tools you can put to work in your editing to make sure that you stay up to date with language usage.

To whom it may concern

CIEP focus paper: To whom it may concern

In this entertaining and erudite focus paper, Jeremy Butterfield considers what editors should do about the whom vs who debate.


Editing jobs log

CIEP toolkit: Editing jobs log

A practical tool for recording your editorial jobs, including hours worked, word counts and fees earned. It's also a great tool for recording your experience for upgrading your CIEP membership.