Levels of Edit

An editor can perform a fatal-flaw, light, moderate, or heavy edit. Use this page to determine the correct level of edit for your project. 

Depending on the project, formatting may be required (e.g., putting a document into the NREL technical report template). Extra time may also be needed to ensure that references are correct and adhere to the Chicago Manual of Style (if a technical report) or to a journal-specific style, or if you would like the editor to help simplify language (i.e., plain language) based on the audience.

Fatal Flaw

A fatal-flaw edit includes:

  • Correcting typos, spelling, and grammatical errors
  • Making sure pages flow and are numbered correctly
  • Making sure any figures and tables are numbered correctly.

Light Edit

A light edit typically includes all the fatal-flaw tasks as well as checking in-text citations against corresponding references and ensuring compliance with the NREL Style Guide.

Moderate Edit

A moderate edit includes all the previous tasks as well as:

  • Developing a table of contents, list of figures, list of tables, and/or an acronym list if needed
  • Suggesting wording alternatives to improve the content if needed
  • Reviewing the publication's content structure and identifying organizational issues.

Heavy Edit

A heavy edit includes all the previous tasks. It also involves some rewriting to:

  • Ensure appropriateness for the intended audience (including flagging ways to implement plain language)
  • Expand or remove content as needed
  • Incorporate key messages if needed
  • Restructure content as needed.