Copy Editing Guidelines
Copy Editing Guidelines Overview
Copy Editing Guidelines For New Copy Editors
Before an author can present his work to his readers, he must present it first to his editor. He may have the right idea and his own special way of saying it, but would his readers be able to understand him? Copy editors make sure that the copy the author submitted has the correct format, accurate text, and follows the appropriate style without changing its substance or losing the author’s original thought. For new copy editors, it is best to follow Copy Editing Guidelines to help them in their work.
An article, book or manuscript goes through copy editing before it is submitted for typesetting or printing. Even before the copy goes through the final checking step, which is the proofreading stage, the copy editor should ensure the copy’s quality by eliminating unnecessary words in every sentence, placing words in their correct order, using correct punctuation marks, and using appropriate sentence structure among others.
Important Copy Editing Guidelines To Remember
Different publications follow different writing styles. A publishing house may print titles of songs in italics while another prefer to use quotation marks. Both are correct, but depending on what style the publishing house in which the copy is being published follows. The most commonly used styles include MLA (Modern Language Association), AP (Associated Press), and Chicago Manual of Style. Each has its own set of rules regarding punctuations, abbreviations, font styles and more. Copy editors should ensure that the article follows the same style its publication uses.
The correct spelling and usage of every word, as well as the grammar and syntax used, are what give readers lasting impression of the article and even the author. They could deem a writer unreliable and unconvincing with just few grammar mistakes and inappropriate syntax use. But of course, copy editors must also take time to check out the author’s sources and ensure credit is given where due. Checking the facts helps prevent embarrassing mistakes and potentially libelous errors.
There are many things to check to ensure a copy is correct and factual, comprehensible, clear and consistent. A copy editor must have an eye for spotting errors and a strong command of grammar. Their meticulousness often helps save the integrity and reputation of the author and the credibility of the article. Following Copy Editing Guidelines can help both copy editors and writers deliver a quality piece.