“I’m a good writer; I don’t need anyone else to read my stuff. Why should I use a professional editor?” Ever said or thought that? Well, maybe it’s true that you’ve committed Strunk & White to memory. Your work is polished, professional, and print-ready, and publishers are scrambling to be the first to sign you.

On the other hand, maybe, just maybe, you’re like the vast majority of the human race and have issues with the use of “who” and “whom” and are never quite sure where to place that comma properly—or should it be a semicolon?

That is where a professional editor can be a lifesaver. Professional editors know the proper use of “who” and “whom.” Furthermore, they’re familiar with all the mystifying little rules of grammar and punctuation that befuddle the average writer. It’s not only their job to know these things; it’s also their passion. You see, professional editors are those annoying people who just can’t help themselves. Grammatical and punctuation errors seem to leap out at them, even in published books or magazines. They’re the ones who will read a passage in a great work of literature and instead of sighing over its perfection, will mull ways it could have been differently worded. They think nothing of telling store owners—politely, of course!—that their outside sign reads “hear” when it should read “here.”

So what exactly does this mean for the aspiring novelist or the student with a paper due yesterday?

Why Should I Use a Professional Editor?

A professional editor can check your work for mistakes that your word processing program’s grammar/spell-check missed. The editor can suggest ways to word sentences better; even move entire paragraphs around to make your work read more clearly and logically. Professional editors can help ensure that your work conforms to the style guide your instructor or publisher requires. In short, a professional editor can take your unpolished manuscript and turn it into a polished gem, ensuring it is ready for submission to those who will decide its ultimate fate.

And isn’t the ultimate fate of your work what it’s all about? A research paper turned in with numerous grammatical errors or using the wrong style guide might receive a failing grade. A novel submitted to a publisher with run-on sentences and improper use of quotation marks will be tossed into the reject pile.

Don’t let your hard work be for naught: before turning in that term paper or submitting that novel to a publisher, take the time to hire a professional editor through a firm such as First Editing. It’s worth the money spent to make sure your work is as perfect as is humanly possible.

Originally posted 1/5/2009 and happily updated 11/14/2017. Thanks for reading!

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