Copy editing/proof reading explained
Copy editing reports, policies, applications, resumes, minutes, articles, and other types of documents that are not intended for publication, is the final stage of correcting a document, prior to it being submitted to its audience. Some people also refer to this type of copy editing as ‘proof reading’.
Copy editing a report or manuscript intended for publication is the final stage of correcting the document prior to it being designed, proof read and published. When editing a publication, copy typing and proof reading are two very different stages.
Copy editing applications, newsletters, reports etc. that are not intended for formal publication
Many people call this type of copy-editing task ‘proofreading’. It is the last stage of correcting the document prior to the document being submitted or read by the people you are writing it for. Examples of documents that need to be copy edited (or proof read) just once are: resumes or applications; or reports, newsletters, articles etc. that are for in-house audiences only.
Assuming the document has already been self-edited to a good standard and is ready for copy editing (or proofreading), the editor:
- corrects any grammatical, spelling or punctuation mistakes that have been missed during the self-editing stage
- confirms the document is error-free, and ready for the end-user
- For more information, go to: Proofreading (or copy editing) resumes and reports.
Copy editing publications (reports, books etc.)
Copy editing a manuscript or report that is intended to be published is not the same as proof reading. Examples of documents that need to be copy edited prior to being designed then proofread are: manuscripts for any type of electronic or hardcopy book; annual reports; other types of reports that are intended to be printed/e-published and distributed to the public.
Assuming the document has already been edited to a good standard, the copy editor:
- carries out any editing tasks that have been missed or not yet completed, referring to the style sheet in conjunction with the relevant manuals/guides
- corrects any minor mistakes that have been missed during the previous editing stages such as errors in grammar, punctuation and spelling and minor inconsistencies, taking particular care in regard to the ‘extras’ (e.g. introductions, tables of contents, appendices) which may not have been covered by the previous editing stages
- confirms the document is as error-free as possible, and ready for the next stages: graphic design, then proofreading, then printing, then checking the final proofs.
- For more information about editing and proofreading publications, go to: Self-editing your manuscript; The three stages of editing; Proofreading publications; Proofreading the final proof.
Image: Pixabay – Creative Commons licence (no attribution required)
Proofread by Dee Sansom, On Time Typing.
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