What Is Copy Editing?

What Is Copy Editing?

The term ‘copy editing’ refers to the process of revising written material in order to improve readability and finesse, as well as making sure that text is free of grammatical in addition to factual errors.

Although copy editors are usually expected to make straightforward revisions in order to smooth awkward passages, they do not possess a licence to rewrite a text line by line, nor do they prepare material on an author’s behalf.

Copy editors are expected to question structural and organisational problems however they are not supposed to fix these problems. As well, copy editors do not usually engage in developmental editing. This type of editing includes:

  • Assisting an author to develop an idea into a publishable manuscript,
  • Revamping a rough draft,
  • Pinpointing gaps in subject coverage,
  • Designing strategies for more effective communication of content, and
  • Creating features in order to enhance the final product and make it more competitive in the marketplace.

What Skills Does A Copy Editor Need?

Copy editors necessitate a variety of skills, together with an excellent command of the language, an ability to pinpoint factual errors, an eye for detail and critical thinking skills which allow them to see inconsistencies in the work. Also, copy editors need excellent interpersonal skills so that they are able to communicate effectively with publishers and other editors.

In fact copy editing can be a vague term that differs from employer to employer. So, some copy editors might be expected to carry out all the functions that are described above and others may just fulfil a few of these duties. In addition, copy editors are referred to as sub-editors in the magazine as well as newspaper industry.

Effects Of The Internet On Copy Editing

As online resources increase in popularity, copy editors try to meet the increase of digital consumerism to the best of their abilities. Such high competition has resulted in a slowly “declining of quality in editing”, such as proofreading or fact-checking. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the Internet has restricted the scope of a copy editor’s responsibilities or – alternatively -job opportunities.

One of the most vital advancements of the digital age is the advent of pagination. This gives copy editors more control over the construction as well as revisions of their content. Pagination is a convenient feature in computer programs such as Pagemaker, the Quark Xpress, and AdobeIndesign.

In spite of the increasing number of programs, some copy editors believe their fundamental functions and duties haven’t altered much. Other copy editors are of the belief that the Internet has streamlined fact-checking and that websites such as Facebook or Twitter have helped information-gathering. Other kinds of digital skills, such as image selection and search engine optimisation, boost the visibility of search results, particularly when looking for keywords in headlines.

In all probability, the Internet will go on evolving, however this shouldn’t hamper the holistic importance of copy editing. Although it may be tempting to ignore proper revisions in favour of convenience, the credibility as well as quality of an editor’s work should still be maintained. This is because there will always be updates in software and technology. As formats change so too will the opportunities for journalists in addition to other writers.

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