Whenever you request an editing service from a professional editing service provider, it will usually be the case that the editor will focus on a small set of critically important issues. These will include grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, punctuation errors, condensing your text (i.e., making it more concise), revising your writing style and flow (if necessary), and re-structuring your arguments.
In certain cases, and especially if you request it, an editor may do some fact-checking, or they may highlight where parts of your writing are unclear. The key thing to note about professional editing service providers, therefore, is that while the services offered by each provider may differ in terms of the details, they are all similar in that they focus on as a standard set of writing fundamentals.
Now that we all know what editing is and, furthermore, what a professional editor is likely to do for your work, we can answer the question of whether you should edit your own article or whether you should hire a professional. In order to make the best decision here, there are a few things to consider.
First, you need to think about what your budget is. For example, if you cannot afford to hire a professional editing service provider, then this might be a barrier. If you ever find yourself in this position, though, remember that having a friend or family member edit your work is almost always a better idea than relying only on yourself. The value of a fresh pair of eyes looking over your work cannot be underestimated!
Second, you need to think about the topic and your target audience. As a case in point, you might be a computer science student who lives in the UK and whose paper-writing skills may not yet be fully polished. When you write essays for your supervisor and your course, it is unlikely that you will be able to spot all of the errors and areas for improvement that a professional-grade editor would spot. Moreover, as a student studying on a technical course, having an editor who also has experience in your subject area can really make it worthwhile to opt for them over oneself.
Third, you need to think about who you would hire as your professional editor. This is a crucially important one because, for every person who has to write articles in today’s society, there is probably an editor out there who is not fit for the task. Simply put, if the choice is between you yourself and someone who lacks the skills to add value to your work, you should definitely go for yourself.
My view is that it is almost always a better idea to hire a professional editing and proofreading service provider than to edit your own article. Many great editors are inexpensive to hire, and yet they add tremendous value to written work, which in-turn provides an excellent return on investment. At the same time, editing the work that we ourselves have written comes with many pitfalls, not least because we are too familiar with what we have written to spot any errors effectively.