What is your approach to edit a copy?
While editing copy, you’ll look for a number of technical issues within a piece of writing:
- Formats errors: The number one priority for a copy editor is to highlight and suggest corrections to grammatical errors, spelling errors, punctuation errors, and syntax. Although these areas may be tackled by a separate proofreader, a copy editor still needs to address them as they see them, as they may affect the content of the work itself.
- Enforces flow: Too many words can bog down a text and confuse the reader. A good copy editor will be able to eliminate superfluous sentences and tighten phrasing in order to help streamline the writer’s story or message.
- Checks for consistency: Copy editor jobs require you to be detail-oriented. One of the main responsibilities of a copy editor is to comb through a given work and check to make sure details are kept consistent, such as descriptions of settings and characters. If a house is white in one chapter, then suddenly brown in the next, it is the copy editor’s job to notice and change that detail.
- Fact checks: The copy-editing process can also involve research, especially when editing nonfiction works. If there is no specialized fact-checker working on a publication, the copy editor may need to verify dates and events to maintain factual accuracy.