While copy editing, as a discipline, is highly personal and subjective, there are a few standard tools and techniques which are followed by experienced copy editors, universally.
Listed here are the 10 best copy editing techniques and practices which most copy editors employ to refine, filter and fine-tune the textual composition before them.
1. Cutting Long Sentences
The most important principle for good copy editing is to cut lengthy sentences into shorter ones. The sentences that are both long and long, usually have the potential to lose readers’ attention. They typically contain a variety of contradictory ideas, none which will reach the desired audience due to the fact that the reader shifts attention midway through. Short sentences however are concise and concise and extremely captivating.
2. Removing Unnecessary Punctuation
A comma can be considered to be self-sufficient in punctuating the entire text. This is due to the fact that it can communicate the necessary information in a very simple manner. Writing a piece that is littered with different forms of punctuation such as semi-colons, colons and parentheses will remove the flow and elegance.
3. Supplanting Confounded Words
All blogs, articles and other stories written in a straightforward and understandable manner, generally are well-received by the reader. Readers tend to connect with the writer’s intention and relate to it on a personal and a cognitive level. When they use words that are complicated certain writers exclude their readers. Therefore, it is the responsibility of copy editors to substitute words that are jargon by more commonly used terms.
4. Killing Redundancies
Redundancies in the professional world of copy editing, can be defined as specific words, phrases or phrases that cause unnecessary repetition of words. Although they are not apparent at first but they could turn out to be extremely exhausting from the grammatical and linguistic point of view. The most common redundancies throughout the spectrum include planning, ‘gifts, and ‘foreign imports’ and so on.
5. Using Active Instead of Detached Voice
In English grammar the active and passive voices are considered the most satisfying form of expression. But, when writing an account copy editors usually prefer active in preference to passive voices. This is since using active voice makes writing extremely concise, succinct and effective. It also helps to clear the sentence of words that are not needed and terms that are not important.
6. Diminishing Relational words
Prepositions, in essence are words that define the relationship between pronouns/nouns as well as other elements of sentences. While they can be helpful in certain situations, they can hinder excellent writing. They don’t only prolong sentences by increasing their meaning however, when cut they also cut down the sentence’s length by nearly half! This is the reason copy editors, as a common procedure, constantly replace prepositions by using more specific words.
7. Focusing on Subtleties
An essay doesn’t just need to be examined for punctuation, spelling, and grammar. It must also be rewritten for flow, narrative and coherence. In this regard copy editors make sure they examine the entire text in a thorough and precise method. They pay close attention to every small detail and work to fix any mistakes.
8. Removing Reiteration
Similar to redundancies, repetitions can be a major obstacle for the success of many writing projects. While proofreading and editing their own work, authors don’t realize the amount of sentences, words, or concepts they’ve repeated. Copy editors are trained to spot these types of mistakes. They try to remove the text, and then give it a fresh and crisp appearance.
9. Amplifying the Writer’s Voice
The primary goal of a well-written article is to convey in words whatever the writer would like to communicate through his or her thoughts. This is the reason that many copy editors have a tendency to enhance the voice of the writer and minimize it by themselves. They limit their comments to simple comments or suggestions, questions, and explanations to ensure that their opinions, prejudices and biases don’t get evident in the written piece.
10. Serving the Reader
Not to be left out copy editors across all over the world have their practice to assist the reader by providing simple accurate, concise, and error-free content. Although professional copy editing requires them to satisfy the requirements of writers as well as publishing houses, they ensure that their main goal remains to satisfy the readers’ desire to consume informative, compelling engaging, and entertaining content.
The Way Forward
Based on recent research done through Copywriter Today, almost 56 percent of marketers agree that compelling and well-written copy are likely to generate 7 to 8 times the normal traffic. This indicates that the ability of words written in a way to draw attention, spark imagination, and spur an actionable response is truly amazing!
It is in part due to this fact that the tasks and responsibilities of an experienced copy editor are expected to take on a new form in the near future. Editing for professional purposes will gradually transform into a profitable business, where keeping quality high, ensuring accuracy, removing bias, and rethinking verbosity will start to be a major focus. Therefore, it is important to look for the most effective copy editing services you can select. In these circumstances, using the most effective methods of editing to highlight the inherent beauty of a piece of art is sure to provide a method to provide clarity in the written word as well as textual transparency and creative ideation.