The Basics of Copyediting

Jonty Finch
Created By Jonty Finch
On May 6, 2018
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The Basics of Copyediting

Copy editing is the process that corrects writing of spelling, grammatical and punctuation mistakes. Copy editing also looks for errors in jargon, terminology, semantics, and formatting. This highly detailed process also ensures that factual data is accurate, and the writer's ideas are conveyed throughout the writing. A copy editor will look at every part of the written document, from the title to the footnotes.

Copy editing will make sure that written documents flow as they should, making sure that it is sensible and free of any plagiarized material. The length of the text may also be changed to suit the needs of the publisher, magazine or website. Copy editors will understand the style of formatting expected of writers and make any changes necessary to adopt this style. They may add headlines, footnotes, captions and more to written documents as required.

There are skills necessary for every copy editor to do their job correctly. Copy editors will need an above average grasp on language (whether their own or the writer), especially with a keen eye to spot grammatical and factual errors. Research may be necessary to make sure everything is correct, including the use of writing style handbooks and more. They must also be able to communicate with both the publisher and the writer.

When the copy editor has finished editing the document, it will pass onto the proofreader.

The proofreader will be one of the final steps in the process. They will also look for grammatical, punctuation and spelling errors. There are key differences between copy editing and proofreading, and each requires an eye for detail and a fresh mind. Some writers edit their work but using a copy editor along with a writer means keeping eyes fresh and skills sharp for the best result.

Copy editors have an essential role in various industries, as written communication is not something that is restricted to just one sector. Some copy editors perform the duties of the proofreader as well. The needs of each business will determine the exact responsibilities of their copy editor, or whether they use one at all. For many businesses, it is better to use a freelancer for copy editing, writing, or proofreading services.

A copy editor has a crucial role for many businesses, especially those that rely on written communication or documents. They will take the time to look through writing and make sure that your business looks concise and professional.

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