Ideally, copy-editing is done prior to proofreading. In addition to checking spelling, grammar and punctuation, I include the following in my copy-editing service:

  • improving the readability, clarity and fluency of the text
  • removing monotonous repetition of words and phrases
  • checking for ambiguity and suggesting solutions
  • checking that tenses are used consistently and noting where there is a problem with inconsistency
  • checking that any style guide has been complied with and correcting the text where necessary (excluding formatting/layout)
  • checking that the chapter headings and subheadings in any Table of Contents match those in the text
  • checking that abbreviations are noted when a term is first mentioned and noting where they are not
  • checking that the treatment of quotations that are embedded in the text and those that are displayed is consistent (e.g. that quotations of up to a certain number of words/lines are embedded and that the layout for displayed quotations is consistent) and noting where this is not the case
  • checking that the headings/captions relating to tables, figures and illustrations appear to be consistent in terms of font size and type and capitalisation and noting where this is not the case
  • checking any numbered sequences and making a note if any sequence is incorrect
  • checking the layout of lists and advising whether the style is consistent across the text or within each list and noting inconsistencies
  • identifying any overuse of things such as italic, bold and capitals
  • although checking all factual content isn’t one of the checks done, I will be alert to errors such as misspelled names of people, documents or buildings and misquoted material and will check or query them




If you’d like to find out more about my copy-editing services, please get in touch using the Superscript contact page



Proof-editing is quite a new term. It is a combination of proofreading and copy-editing that is done at the same time. Lots of clients are very happy with this one-step service – it meets the needs of their text and doesn’t strain their budget.

Many of my (non-publisher) clients say that they want their text proofreading, but when I look at the file it’s clear that it needs more than this, and ideally should be copy-edited. If the client doesn’t have the time or the budget to ask me to copy-edit their text first and then proofread it at a later date once they’ve made the relevant changes, I can proof-edit it in one pass.

If you’re not sure which service you need, you can just send me your text and I’ll advise you.