Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What Is Copyediting?

Copyediting (sometimes spelled as two words: copy editing) is low- to medium-level editing involving limited revision and correction of issues in texts.

Copyediting jobs are very hands-on. Copyeditors must understand the goals and intentions of a publication to effectively edit it, as the task often requires some rewriting or rearranging of the text for the sake of clarity or concision.

Because copyeditors have always been responsible for making changes directly to copy, the role hasn't been significantly redefined by the digital age, like proofreading has. While editors may use some esoteric copyediting marks among each other, communication with the writer is made in much clearer language.

After copyediting, an editor will typically return the text to the writer for revisions, so while copyediting involves many direct changes to the copy, it also includes general comments, suggestions, questions, and recommendations. In different situations, copyediting and proofreading may be comparable, but the extra time and attention spent on the text and communicating with the author are what make copyediting a higher-level process than proofreading, which offers no feedback or commentary and very limited revisions.

See how much freelance copyediting costs here.

Do you think you might need copyediting? Take my quick, interactive quiz to find out!



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