A consultant’s report with multiple authors
Like many large documents produced by consulting firms, this 108-page employment forecast (part of the City of Toronto’s TOcore Downtown Plan) was a collaborative work produced by several authors. All writers have different styles, even when they’re trying to write in a neutral, corporate voice. They may use punctuation differently or choose different spelling variants. Each choice may be technically correct, but readers find these differences jarring if they’re in one document. Consistency builds credibility and authority; for many readers, it signals quality.
As an editor, one of my tasks is to ensure consistency from front to back. In practice, that’s more than making sure a client punctuates bulleted lists similarly throughout or always spells “Katherine” the way she likes it. If the tone jumps from formal to colloquial, for example, or suddenly all the sentences are in passive voice, I will suggest alternatives.