Consistency Counts

Meet Dixie and Clover. They’re consistent. Every day they each lay one perfect brown egg. There are no skipped days, no colour changes, and no differences in size. We always know what we’re getting, and it’s nice. But the benefits of consistency go way beyond the chicken coopconsistency is also vital in the workplace, in relationships, and even in your writing.

Imagine a document you’ve recently created. Did you ensure all your headings levels look the same? Did you use the same spelling style throughout (ex. American, Canadian, or British)? Did you use the serial (Oxford) comma or do you prefer to avoid a final comma before ‘and’? Did you hyphenate your compound words or close them up? Either way, be consistent. And what about the tone and voice of your piece? These should be consistent too. Creating consistent text takes work, but your audience will thank you for it.

Each time you start a document, it is vital that you begin by considering your audience. Knowing your audience helps determine whether your document will be formal or casual and guides which style rules will best benefit your reader. As well, if you are writing a document for a client, it is important to note whether they have specific rules for grammar, spelling, punctuation, headings, etc., and if they do, it is important you stick to them. A document that strictly adheres to a specific set of guidelines is easier to read and looks more professional than documents that use a new style on every page.

Overwhelmed by the thought of choosing a style? Here are some resources to help get you started:

About the Editor


I am Kellie Jardine: wife, mother, dog owner, chicken farmer, garden tender, yoga lover, and editor.

Born in Whitehorse, Yukon, I started writing at at young age. Between local writing contests and school speech competitions, I was always ready for a challenge. After graduation, I put my love of words to work at the University of Calgary, shaping strong arguments and proving theses in order to earn my Bachelor of Arts in Canadian History.

In 2007, I moved with my husband to Fort McMurray where I spent five years writing and leading education programs at the Oil Sands Discovery Centre. It was an experience that taught me many lessons about the impact of audience on language, writing style, and tone.

Fast forward to 2014—a cat, two dogs, and two beautiful children later, we were ready for a change. In August of 2014, we moved to Coldstream, BC, in the heart of the Okanagan. As the next two years passed swiftly by, we settled easily into our new home. With both kids in school, I decided to take Simon Fraser University’s Editing Certificate Program and graduated in November of 2016. With certificate in hand, I was ready for my next writing challenge: helping others reach their writing dreams. And with that, Clearly Read Editing was born.

I enjoy the challenge of editing a piece of writing and love the opportunity it provides to help each writer succeed. If you are looking for some editing direction, even if you don’t know what type, I would love to help make sure your writing says exactly what you want it to.

Question or two? Don’t hesitate to contact me. Unsure about what your document needs? Send me a sample of your work for a complimentary assessment.

You can find the best ways to reach me on my Contact page. I look forward to the chance to work with you, and until then, happy writing!