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Copy editing explained

Copy editing a publication is the final stage of correcting a manuscript prior to it being designed for publication.

Copy editing other types of documents (e.g. reports, policies, applications, minutes, articles) is the final stage of correcting a document prior to it being submitted to its audience or published. Some people also refer to this task as ‘proof reading’.

Copy editing publications

Assuming the document has already been self-edited or edited to a good standard and is ready for copy editing, 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 error-free (or as error-free as possible) and ready for graphic design (after which the manuscript will be designed, proofread and submitted to the printer).

Copy editing other types of documents

Many people call this copy-editing task ‘proofreading’ because it is the last stage of correcting the document prior to submission or publication.

Assuming the document has already been self-edited or edited to a good standard and is ready for copy editing (or proofreading), 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, with the understanding that this is the last opportunity to ensure the document is error-free
  • confirms the document is error-free and ready for submission or publication.

For more information go to: Proofreading (or copy editing) resumes and reports.

Other stages of editing

For information about the other stages of editing pubilcations, go to:

Image: Pixabay – Creative Commons licence (no attribution required)

Proofread by Dee Sansom, On Time Typing.

 


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