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)
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.
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.