Copy Editor is Bringing a Story to Print

Decent Essays
What a copy editor does with a draft of a story going to print:
--looks for missing words, missing elements of the story, missing attributes. For example, if a person named James Dodd is mentioned, that person’s identity as it relates to the story must be attached to the name when it is first cited, so that if Dodd, a manager at Hudson’s Bay Company, is quoted again, the reader knows who the person is.
--corrects the lead and adjusts the structure of the story so that, for instance, the paragraphs follow in logical order and are properly connected to each other. Watch for “buried” leads, i.e. the sentence that should tell the reader what the story is all about occurs after the lead sentence.
--looks for inconsistencies, eg. proper nouns spelled two different ways. (Always use spell-check to help locate such inconsistencies.)
--corrects for the publication’s style. For instance at the Globe and Mail, copy editors would follow the Globe’s style guide for font style and size, peculiarities of punctuation, upper and lower case, etc. In most instances the CP style guide will also apply.
--corrects mathematics and geography. In other words, make sure the numbers or percentages add up. Make sure places – towns, lakes, mountains, whatever -- are properly located according to the latest maps.
--checks with the writer of the story for anything that is not clear: don’t assume you are right and don’t guess. NB It is the writer’s responsibility to make sure he/she can be located at a
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