Copy editing is what most people think of when they think of editing. It focuses on the mechanics and grammar of the material, ensuring that everything is correct, accurate and consistent. At this point in the editing process, the majority of the writing should be completed. This is the polishing stage and there shouldn't be a need for major rewrites or reformatting of ideas.

This includes but is not limited to:

  • Correcting errors in spelling, grammar and usage

  • Checking that facts are correct

  • Ensuring consistency in spelling, numbers and abbreviations

  • Flagging necessary citations, copyrights and permissions

  • Ensuring the material is complete

Copy editing is done in Word using track changes. At the end of the process two versions will be returned: a clean copy with all of the changes accepted and a marked up copy with all of the changes visible.

The copy edit may also contain elements of a stylistic edit which clarifies meaning, ensures coherence and flow and refines the language.

The mechanics of copy editing

As a young author, I really enjoyed working with Ms. Clarke because she was extremely knowledgeable and professional. Her editing style is supportive and enhanced my writing rather than changing it.”

Camden Martin, Author If I Could Tell It

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