Stimulating Your Audience
Rough notes, draft memoirs, sows’ ears…
Whatever or how much material you have, my aim is to make it better -
The objective of copy editing is to make sure your raw text, or copy, is correct in terms of spelling and grammar and is easy to read so that readers can grasp your ideas. It also tries to prevent errors of fact or inconsistencies. When copy editing, I will look at :
- Grammar, spelling and sense.
- Suitability of the text for your intended audience -
has the language been pitched at the right level? Do any terms or abbreviations need explanation?
- Extent -
is your work too long/short?
- Content and structure -
is anything missing or redundant? Is the order logical? Are headings used appropriately to break up text and make it more readable? Are footnotes essential? Could 'supporting material' be dispensed with or go into an appendix? etc.
- Sentence and paragraph length -
is it appropriate for the subject matter or audience?
- Consistency -
are your choices (spelling, headings, captions etc) consistent throughout?
- Style -
whilst respecting your individual style, pointing out common 'mistakes' that might hinder your readers' understanding.
- Accuracy -
if requested, checking your stated facts, dates, quotations, etc.
- Avoiding trouble -
where possible, pointing out anything that might be troublesome, eg potential breaches of copyright, libel, obscenity, incitement to racial hatred etc.
- Print and design matters -
advising if anything related to print or web design might affect your copy.
This involves more developmental and/or substantive editing or ‘Ghost Writing’. I will take your raw material and re-
As this is very individual, it is best discussed on a case-
Editing can be costed by the job or by the hour -
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Society for Editors and Proofreaders
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