punctuate   clarify



What I do

WordShine means polished writing. Polishing removes dust and blemishes, bumps and rough patches. It allows the surface to gleam as it naturally wants to. My aim is that when I have finished polishing the words, it will be your message that shines.

I offer proofreading and editing to polish what you have written. Proofreading removes errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar, while editing refines and clarifies the meaning. I've done this for a long time and I love it.

We help you communicate through writing — we say what you mean.

Forget the mechanics

I'm comfortable with the mechanics of writing — punctuation, spelling, grammar — so you can forget those things. You can concentrate on what you really want to say, and I'll help you say it. I like helping you clarify your written communication.

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.

-Galileo Galilei, physicist and astronomer (1564-1642)

When considering what you want to say, discussing it with an experienced editor can help. As a skilled interviewer, I draw out the essence of what you know about your subject. Good writing answers penetrating questions that lead to the heart of your topic.

I can improve all manner of written English, including translations, user guides, web sites, product instructions, letters, reports, proposals, press releases, articles, advertisements, speeches and training material.

Editing, proofreading—what's the difference?

Proofreading and editing are quite distinct, though there's a fine line between them. Proofreading corrects 'literals' — errors of spelling and punctuation — simple grammar and some elements of style. Editing addresses higher elements of style, grammatical usage, phrasing, meaning and structure.

Style book

In a publishing organisation, the style book can be an encyclopaedia covering everything from the correct form of addressing royalty to the consistent usage of numerals. It sets out the organisation's preferences on a multitude of expressions. Examples might include how to refer to the Second World War, the spelling of Beijing and other foreign words and whether, or not ever, to abbreviate the spelling of kilometre. It is the job of both editor and proofreader to ensure the writing complies with the style book. In general editing, adhering to a formal style is not important, as there is no style book. Every document, though, presents a unique style of its own, and it's important to keep it internally consistent or it could become awkward. These are decisions made for the author's own reasons and the editor must watch for them, respect them and change them only for good reason.

Editing is a joy

I'm often editing all day long and I can scarcely describe the joy of it, how it feels to take something a little raw, like a rough diamond, and carefully study it and polish it. Oh, the client, when it gleams — how he smiles!

An editor must discern the essence of what the author says in order to express it more clearly or precisely. I find it satisfying and my clients often express delight that I've captured just exactly what they wanted to convey.

I work hard to express your meaning. I don't use big words (unless you want them), I remove unnecessary words and ambiguities and I do my utmost to include everything that should be included. In my opinion, there's not a lot more you could ask of a good piece of writing.

English as a second language; translations

If English is not your first language, then I can help you polish your English. This is now a specialty of mine and I have a constant stream of foreign students from all over Auckland wanting help with their essays and term papers. I can apply to your writing that intimate understanding of the language that comes only with growing up with it. I can help you sound like a native speaker of English.

Many of my clients have realised that with every paper I edit for them they receive an invaluable bonus — a first-class lesson in the use of English.

You can see clients I have worked for. Review our fees to get an idea of what we'd charge you. If you prefer, ask for a free estimate. I'm happy to help.

Richard Treadgold

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