Review the wording and accuracy of pieces before they're published.
What does a Copy Editor do?
A Copy Editor is the last stop for documents on their way to print, be they newspaper articles, magazine exposés, or book manuscripts. Your job is to edit the content (copy) by making sure the writing is clear and error-free, the facts are correct, and the article matches the style of its publishing house.
You might be thinking, “A Proofreader can do that.” But the job of a Copy Editor entails more than proofreading. While a Proofreader works in printed text and is accountable only for typos and misspellings, the Copy Editor works with content prior to print and often wears the hats of Editor, Fact Checker, and Typesetter.
This job will vary by industry. In a larger book, magazine, and newspaper publishing houses, the Assignment Editor reviews the content and organization of a piece before handing it to you. You then edit the article for errors in grammar, spelling, and fluency. You may also have the liberty to make significant changes to the Writer ’s work, such as re-wording awkward phrases.
In newspaper editing more than other areas, you also cover the job of Fact Checker. You confirm names, addresses, and places in addition to rechecking any unclear or questionable details.
Perhaps the most specific part of your job is being familiar with the “house rules.” Every Publisher outlines punctuation, spelling (theatre vs. theater), structure, and length policies for their own publications. Following these regulations is pivotal to maintaining the voice, style, and standards of the Publisher.