What is copyediting?
Part 1 of 2
Copyediting is often confused with proofreading. Most people understand proofreading to be finding errors. If it helps, think of these three stages when considering writing:
Copyediting follows writing. First you write to get your thoughts down, then edit. Next, take a look at how it’s presented.
Does it flow from one idea to another? Was your message clearly conveyed? Are the sentences difficult to read (think a-long-and-winding road.) Did you use the correct voice? Do you have subject/verb agreement?
Are the facts correct – Have you verified them? Is your grammar correct? Punctuation? Use of words: (apprise vs. appraise; compliment vs. complement). Spell Check can catch misspelled words, but it won’t catch an incorrect word (adopt vs. adapt; it’s vs. its). And each comma should have a reason (rule), not simply be a place to take a breath
Proofreading is the final review before print or publishing. If you are still editing and making changes, you are not ready for proofreading. Proofreading is a final review of: capitalization, consistency, facts, format, grammar, punctuation, spelling, and proper nouns.
Having clear and concise writing engages readers so they remember the content. Unnecessary words and phrases clutter up the material, leaving readers confused or unimpressed. Do you want that?
Why credibility matters
Regardless of your industry, how writing is perceived affects your credibility and professionalism.
It’s disappointing when a website or blog leaves you confused or mislead. Whether a website, blog, email, or presentation – a smart audience notices if these contain errors or are difficult to read. This causes mistrust. Worse, you lose credibility. It reeks of sloppiness. Your audience may wonder how detailed you’ll be for them if you don’t spend time on your own content. A well-written, well-edited piece will engage readers and provide a chance to gain their trust.
Don’t let yourself lose a prospect, client or customer over errors that could be eliminated by a copyeditor.
Fresh Eyes Reading LLC and The Pooch Writer
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