We have a pretty deliberate approach to revision -- more so than most copy shops I know. It's based on what we used to call development or collaborative editing, and it's pretty dang efficient.
The goal of revising is to make the copy better. To do that we:
- Make significant changes to documents.
- Assure that documents achieve their purpose.
- Present content as effectively as possible.
- Focus on ideas, organization, voice, word choice,and sentence fluency—but not mechanics.
Focus your revisions
Note that last one in particular. This is a super time-saver. No copy editing allowed in revision. Oh, sure, if you find an error, you can correct it. But we don't waste time actually proofing text that will change after the team has reviewed it. Not only is this more efficient, but people are happier because they don't feel like their time's been wasted. In cases where someone's goal in life is to copy edit, we hold them out of the process until we get to editing -- when their skills are but to their highest and best use.
Want to know more about revising? This packet, free for the downloading, will walk you through the process.