Line Editing

Line editing is used to improve the art and style of your writing so that you can be sure that your writing is effective and engaging for your target audience. Line editors address issues with writing at the sentence level, going line by line to ensure that your text is tight and clear.

This stage in the editorial process generally takes place after a developmental edit (used to address the big picture) and before a copyedit (correction of grammar and punctuation).

A line editor will help you with the following:

  • Improve word choice and so that each word conveys maximal meaning
  • Correct the syntax of sentences so that they flow easily and naturally, as a native English author might write
  • Improve the overall pacing and logical flow of a piece
  • Ensure that you’re using the right tone and voice for the type of publication you’re aiming for
  • Address transitions between paragraphs and sentences
  • Dramatically prune/cut down word count at the paragraph and sentence level
  • “Smooth” rough translations to English from another language or texts translated using software (e.g., DeepL)

Typical projects that need a line edit include books, journal articles, blog posts, conference papers, and any other type of text that the author feels is weak, lackluster, or could be strengthened with a second pair of eyes. A great line editor will give you targeted feedback to improve the overall style of your manuscript.

Price: Line editing rates range based on the type of client, length of the manuscript, and turnaround time. Please see our manuscript editing page for up-to-date pricing.

Includes: Our professional services include one full editorial “pass” to the manuscript and one shorter second pass once the author has responded to queries (must be completed within one month of first pass). Any subsequent passes must be performed within a reasonable timeframe and will be based on the editor’s availability.

When? After you’ve crafted the content and addressed overall, big-picture issues, such as your argument, organization, and evidence, and before you need someone to help you correct the mechanics of your text, including grammar and punctuation, and apply a style guide. In other words, after a developmental edit and before a copyedit.

How long does it take? A general rule of thumb is 25–35k words per week.

Need help with something else?

The Big Picture

Strengthen argument/thesis

Improve organization and structure

Suggest ways to expand or cut back evidence

Respond to or address peer-reviewer feedback

Tell a better "story" with your manuscript


Correct grammar and punctuation errors

Correct sentence syntax

Apply a style manual like the Chicago Manual of Style, APA, or MLA to body text and citations (footnotes, endnotes, bibliography)

Ensure consistency

Eliminate repetition

The Final Step

Double-check publisher proofs

Catch typos and incorrect punctuation

Address layout and typesetting issues like line/word breaks, widows/orphans

Illustration placement and caption consistency

Running header and chapter title consistency

Ready to take the next step?

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