What we fix when we proofread and edit


colon use
verb tense
noun string
use of article
comma splice
verb form use
passive issues
number issues
semicolon use
shifting tenses
misused words
countable noun
run-on sentence
parallel structure
misuse of "much"
double negatives
sequence of tense
faulty parallelism
uncountable noun
limiting modifiers
use of subjunctive
duplicate pronoun
dangling modifier
sentence fragment
active voice issues
sequence of words
squinting modifier
hyphenation issues
typographical error
countable quantifier
misplaced modifiers
incorrect preposition
missing punctuation
misuse of quantifier
capitalization issues
infinitives without "to"
modal verb use errors
gerund / infinitive use
misplaced punctuation
uncountable quantifier
incomplete comparison
misuse of "like" and "as"
subject-verb agreement
unbalanced punctuation
bullet point punctuation
comma after interrupter
redundant pair of words
pronoun case agreement
adjective and adverb use
vague pronoun reference
comma before interrupter
use of "other" and "another"
comma-introductory clause
misused subordinate clause
end-of-sentence preposition
end-of-sentence punctuation
misuse of "these" and "those"
unnecessary infinitive clause
comma-essential information
pronoun-antecedent agreement
absolute adjectives comparison
comma-coordinating conjunction
comma-nonessential information

en dash versus hyphen
hyphenation of phrase
en dash versus space
hyphenation of words
compound words

Spelling Consistency
phrases to avoid or consider
numbers in sentences
spelling variations
preferred spelling
common typos

used before definition
defined in two ways
without definitions
used only once
defined twice
in two forms
not used

Bullet punctuation
list punctuation
bullet capitals
list capitals

Tables, Boxes, and Figures
consistency of tables, boxes, figures, and titles
missing table, box, figure, title
table, box, figure order
punctuation in tables
capitals in tables

headings in capitals
phrases in capitals

parentheses and quotes left open
comments left in the text
Oxford comma
style points


flow, clarity, theme
rhythm, structure
transitions, organization
colloquialisms, lexical register
levels of diction
proper word choice
phrasing ambiguities
rhetorical consistency
audience appropriateness
anthropomorphic language

EDITING NOVELS (For novels, we do all of the editing in the column at the left and the following.)

strengthen your characters
redraft dialogue
set the pace and tone
nullify plot issues
suggest necessary topic development and logic revisions
revise and improve sentence construction, precision, and organization
eliminate redundancies, inconsistencies, wordiness, and other issues with your prose
remove all other flaws keeping your novel from reaching its potential
construct your table of contents and all ‘front matter’ pages at no charge

At no charge, we also evaluate your book’s content. In the margins, we make evaluative comments and we explain corrections and suggestions covering the following questions.

What can be done to improve your work’s marketability?
Is the plot original and compelling?
Does it have any major organization or structural problems?
Have you missed any key ingredients or not developed any scenes or topics sufficiently?
Are the characters original and fully developed?
Is the dialogue genuine?
Is there too much description and exposition or interior monologue with too little action and/or dialogue?
Are there any clichés or stereotypes that weaken your writing?
Is there enough believability, suspense, action, conflict, and tension?
Is your book too short or too long, and, if so, why? Should it be part of a series?
Is there anything else that you, as the author, can do to improve it?