When you are reading an article, do typos jump off the page at you? Have you ever contacted (or wanted to contact) a newspaper or magazine to report an error? Do typos somehow sneak into your own writing, even when you use spell check? Do you want to improve your own writing and maybe fix those errors you spot in other people's work? If so, these copy editing tips are for you.
MAKE YOUR MARK
Will someone else understand the corrections you made to their piece? If you both are using MS Word, you can edit using the Track Changes Tool.
(This procedure can vary slightly in different versions of Word)
From the menu bar select Tools<Track Changes<Highlight Changes<Track Changes While Editing, then click OK. Just type, delete, and make all the changes you want. Notes on the changes you made, automatically show up in the margin.
To view a clean version of the piece you edited, go to the menu bar and click View<Mark Up. It will now look nice and tidy. To once again see your editorial marks and notes, repeat the process (View<Mark Up).
Or maybe you prefer to work with paper and a pen. Then you'll want to use standard proofreader's markings.
As you edit an article, it is helpful to consult a checklist to make sure you have covered the Five Cs.
• Concise Writing
• Clear Copy
• Correct (in terms of facts, numbers, math, locations, geography, names, titles, attributions, dates and times references, spelling and grammar)
• Comprehensible language
• Consistency in flow throughout the piece
STYLE GUIDE ATTITUDE