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Copy Editing

Copy editing is the editorial work that an editor does to correct errors in grammar, spelling, usage and style, which is a given publication's guideline, as well as consistency in how words, phrases and typographical elements are used. In general, you can summarize copy editing as editorial work to ensure that any written publication is clear, correct, concise, comprehensible and consistent.

In addition to the above points, copy editing also covers the extent of the work. The editor ascertains whether the work is too long or too short. A solution is then sought from the publisher after determining this. Secondly, the editor will also check the content and structure of the work to see whether it is logical. The sentences in the work should also be short and uncomplicated. New paragraphs should introduce new ideas. Illustrations and tables should be suitable for printing and reproduction. All spellings of names of people and things should be checked.

Copy editing also includes watching out for defamatory untruths that could lead in lawsuits- referred to as libel, breaches of copy right, obscenities and errors of facts. In addition, copy editing in some cases involves the omission of sections of text and rewriting the remainder for purposes of bridging the gaps created by the omission.

Before the advent of computers, copy editing was done on a printed or written manuscript, by manually marking it with the editor's correction marks. However, with computers in place today, the manuscript is read on a computer display and corrections done directly.

Skills, traits and training in copy editing include: a broad general knowledge of the world (this is necessary so as to spot factual errors); an excellent command of language; good critical thinking skills, so as to recognize any inconsistencies; and diplomacy to enable you deal with writers


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