Copy editing is a far more extensive process than proofreading. It doesn’t just involve correcting errors or omissions, but also improving readability, so that the message comes across more clearly.
Writing well is not an easy task. As the drafting and revising process continues, deadlines loom, and the night before publication can be a long one.
Well-meaning yet hard-to-apply advice such as “Appeal to the reader’s feelings” and “Write with a light, elegant touch” only exacerbates matters. How do you appeal to any one set of feelings when the text is intended for a wide readership? How does one define what is light or elegant anyway? So much comes down to personal taste.
However, there are actually some firm reference points for how to write texts within certain genres, and there does tend to be a consensus among the users of a language about what is well written, and what is not. But it would be foolhardy to claim that it is easy to write in a way that would impress the great majority.
It is also a fact that it is extremely difficult to spot mistakes and weaknesses in something you have written yourself. So when it comes to texts that are intended for publication, you should always get someone else to read through your text and copy edit it if necessary.
Let someone else do the copy editing
A copy editor doesn’t just correct spelling mistakes, fix grammatical errors and tweak punctuation. They may also change the sentence construction, replace words, split sentences in two, remove superfluous words, enforce terminological consistency, and just make the whole thing more readable.
A text’s message is always clearer after copy editing.
If you’re wondering whether your text needs a review – whether it’s in English or another language – send it to us for a free and non-binding evaluation.