The three tasks of writing, editing copy, and editing content are quite different and unique. Special skills are needed to perform each. When writing, you are considering how to get certain content and certain ideas onto paper. The act of editing copy, which is also called proofreading, pertains to holding that copy to certain standards.
The spelling, punctuation, grammar, and usage must be correct, in order for the writing to be best understood by everyone, and also so that an image of professionalism and competence is projected. Content editing, which is often referred to simply as editing, is about trying to best facilitate the communication of what the reader says in a way that blends with what a reader is seeking or desiring. Here we will take a look at the editing of copy, and the editing of content.
The main task with which you should be concerned as a copy editor is making sure that the standard rules regarding grammar, spelling, usage, and punctuation are being followed to the letter, so to speak. If you are dealing with a technical document, there are additional areas with which to concern yourself, including format, headings, and the use of citations.
A quality copy editor must have a very strong grasp of all these rules, as well as a good eye for detail – even the small details. This is very important when writing a piece. Perhaps even the smallest details, as a matter of fact. The act of editing copy can be tedious and laborious, and so the focus, concentration, and intensity required for the act can wane from time to time. Because of this, it may be necessary to repeat the process several times.
Your main goal as a content editor is to revise the text in a way that will enable good communication between writer and reader. Several characteristics on the part of the content editor can aid in accomplishing this. A good feel for voice, tonality and style will greatly help a good editor. If they have the ability to recognize and interpret the aims and ideas of the writer, all the better. An ability to appreciate writing structure, and the ability to use logic and reason, may put that copy editor over the top from good to great.