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Copy Editing

Copy editing is what people usually think of when they think of editors. It’s making sure that text is correct, clear, coherent, and consistent in all matters of spelling, punctuation, grammar, and usage and ensuring that style guides are being followed.


At its most basic, copy editing includes the following:


  • mechanics (e.g., spelling, capitalization, punctuation)

  • language (e.g., grammar, usage, and diction)

  • basic content (e.g., flagging any obvious factual errors and checking that proper nouns are spelled correctly)

  • cross references (e.g., checking footnotes and specifying the placement of tables, figures, and illustrations)

  • typesetter elements (e.g., flagging any characters or elements that need special treatment in the later design)


However, the amount of feedback you are looking for will dictate the level of copy edit. I offer light copy edits and heavy copy edits (also called line edits).

I will provide a sample of up to 1,000 words for all new clients.

Light copy edit

Light Copy Edit

Light copy edits are basic edits that only cover the elements in the list above. I am looking to make your writing correct and will only make or suggest changes when something is incorrect or unclear.

Depending on the final format (book design, blog post, etc.) I will also be calling out typesetter elements such as headings, italics, bolding, and nonstandard characters.

Heavy Copy Edit

Heavy cop edit

A heavy copy edit, also called a line edit, combines all the features of a copy edit with a stylistic edit. On top of the things mentioned in the list above, I will be assessing the following:


  • paragraph and sentence structure

  • effectiveness of language choices

  • flow

  • unnecessary wordiness

  • mood, tone, and style

  • minor structural issues

  • conscious language issues

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune,
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