All Types of Copy Editing

In the world of writing, there are several types of copy editing and  here we provide brief descriptions for each type of copy editing.

Let’s assume you give your work to a copy-editor to work on it. The copy-editor after some days or weeks returns the work to you, and what you find is something you can barely recognize as your own creation. When you ask what happened, you realize that there was a mismatch between your expectations and the editor’s interpretation of what level of editing to apply to your writing.

The term “copy editing” is often used broadly to refer to review written content. However, there are many types of copy editing, and each one has its own place in the content development process. You need to understand each form to best understand what you can handle yourself and when might benefit from partnering with a professional editing service.

All Types of Copy editing



Proofreading which is also popularly known as ‘mechanical editing’ is the process of checking the grammatical accuracy of written content. It involves ensuring all punctuation, capitalization, spelling, noun-pronoun agreement, formatting, verb usage and sentence structure is correct. Although this process of editing is often neglected, it is an important step that’s critical to establishing credibility with an audience in the writing process. An error or two might cause the reader to question the credibility of your work. If you are not familiar with the rules and mechanics of grammar; your best bet might be to have a professional editor to proofread your writing before publishing it. (Read What Is Proofreading)

Line Editing


Usually, when people talk about copy editing, they are most likely talking about line editing. So what is line editing? Line editing involves assessing a piece of writing as a whole, considering its clarity, consistency, accuracy, tone, and overall effectiveness. The purpose of line editing is to make sure that a work’s main point and argument are clear and well-supported.

During this writing process, you can take two approaches to. If you decide to line edit your work yourself, it is best to step away for a couple of days before you return to it. This way, when you go back to your work, you will do so with a clear mind.  Alternatively, you can decide to hire the services of a copy-editor to give an unbiased critique. This works because having a view from a third party will most likely make your piece stronger.



This involves a more straightforward form of copy editing. It involves making sure that all facts are “accurately and appropriately” represented according to the publisher’s style requirements. Although fact-checking services exist, writers often fact-check their own work since it involves them just revisiting referenced works to double-check accuracy before publication.



There are instances where the result of line editing, rewriting involves reconstructing all of a written piece or a portion of it. If you find yourself in this position, it can be helpful to leverage an outside party to provide a new or fresh perspective and approach to the piece.

SEO Copy Editing


If you are writing for a web, you are likely going to be writing and editing your work for search engine optimization (SEO). What that implies is, identifying the keywords your target audience is looking for (many writers leverage SEO agencies during this phase), and incorporating those phrases or words naturally throughout the copy.

Even though SEO writers don’t exactly provide a direct copy edit; copy editors can provide help with other SEO measures. Some of these measures include: ensuring your content is tagged appropriately, and your site architecture allows for search engine crawling.

Content Refreshing


It is always a good idea to refresh your content every quarter of the year. That is not a mere suggestion -it is a general rule. Some of the things you can do during this process are simple. A few of them include: simple content review to check for an outdated tone of voice, changed or inaccurate information and other out-of-date copy. By refreshing digital content, your SEO results will improve.

Keep reading our blog

Photo of author

By David Adewusi

David is a blog writer who likes writing about literature, English grammar, and editing methods. He has also worked as a copy editor and proofreader. He has written excellent blog posts for Scientific Editing.

4 thoughts on “All Types of Copy Editing”

    • Yes, that is part of proofreading.
      Proofreading also checks grammar, punctuation, capitalization, spelling, noun-pronoun agreement, formatting, verb usage and sentence structure.


Leave a Comment

Related Posts

Human proofreading vs. machine proofreading

Human Proofreading Vs. Machine Proofreading

Can the current proofreading tools/machine proofreading replace human proofreading? If this is your question, this article is for you! Towards the end of the 1990s, a chess-playing machine designed by IBM known as Deep Blue did an extraordinary thing; it beat the world chess champion, Garry Kasparov, in a chess match. What made this even…
What is copy editing?

What Is Copy Editing?

When it comes to writing, there’s a whole lot involved. Sure, curating the content takes the lion’s share of the work, but other subcategories of activities every written piece need before publishing or submission. Most of these subcategories are targeted towards editing. Editing is crucial for every caliber or writer as it ensures that the…
Common copy editing mistakes

Top 5 Common Copy Editing Mistakes

There are common copy editing mistakes that are well known to skilled copy editors. If you are thinking of making some copy editing changes on your own, you might want to avoid some of the following major copy editing mistakes. When self-editing, it really is easy to make some big mistakes that, to you, can…
Skills required for copy editing

Top 5 Skills Required for Copy Editing

If you ever intend on becoming a copy editor, then you need to know what you are actually doing. Many of us get involved in things like copy editing and improving our work without really knowing for sure if we are making the right calls. That is problematic, and it can often lead to making…
How a copy editing service works

How a Copy Editing Service Works!

Are you in the middle of writing a paper or piece of content? Then you might consider hiring a copy editing service. Such a service can be useful for you to get the changes made to your content that you feel were lacking. How, though, does the process work? While it does not always work…