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
- eliminating ambiguity
- checking that tenses are used consistently and noting where there is a problem with this
- checking that any style guide has been complied with and correcting the text where necessary (excluding formatting)
- checking that the chapter headings and subheadings in any Table of Contents match those in the text
- checking that the terms and abbreviations are explained on first mention 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 the correct ones 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
- correcting/highlighting 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 require my copy-editing services then please get in touch using the Superscript contact page
Proof-editing is a term that has been used only fairly recently. 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-stop service – it meets the needs of their text and doesn’t strain their budget.
Many of my (non-publisher) clients say that they want a text proofreading, but when I look at the file it’s clear that it needs more than this, and ideally should be copy-edited. But a lot of people don’t have the time or the budget to ask me to copy-edit a text and then proofread it at a later date once they’ve made the relevant changes. They want me to do ‘whatever’s needed’, and often they’re not really clear about what this is. I therefore proof-edit these clients’ texts.
If you’re not sure which service you need, you can just send me your text and I’ll advise you.