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Copy Editors

Copy editors are the people responsible for checking written material before it goes into print to correct errors in grammar, spelling, usage and style. A copy editor is also responsible for ensuring that the written material does not lead to any lawsuits, and that it is free of errors of facts.

In some publications, copy editors are also free to rewrite headlines of stories as he sees it fit for publication. They may also be called to design pages. This includes deciding which stories go with which photos and which should come first and which will follow.

Copy editors are supposed to ensure that the work they are editing have credit lines inserted into correct locations of the text as required by copyright laws, marks the manuscript for the typesetter and also calls out figures or tables in the margin of the manuscript to indicate where they should appear on the printed page.

The following are things that a copy editor does not do. A copy editor does not rewrite ad restructure the text in depth; he only does this to a small extent. He also does not ghost write or proof read. The copy editor also does not do the cover design, indexing, or seek permission to use copyright material. In addition, the copy editor does not do research beyond basic fact finding.

There are some copy editor traits that will help a copy editor in their pursuit for a job or to get a better job. These include:

First of all, the copy editor must love his job and be passionate about it. In this respect, you must be conversant with what is going on around the world. Follow what's going on in the news, both locally and internationally. Analyze the papers.

Secondly as a copy editor, you need to have the relevant education and skills such as reporting, grammar, style, spelling, writing and decision making. Computer skills are also necessary

You should also try and gain some experience on the job by either going for an internship or a stint on your college paper. Experience will help you to make a smooth transition into the world of pressure that characterizes an editing job.

Apart from the above points, a copy editor needs to be a very creative person. Creativity is an attractive trait in copy editors. Other traits that will make you a good copy editor are: you should be a naturally curious person to know what is going on around you, you should be very particular about detail and you should be a person with a lot of common sense.


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