Copyeditors preparations

Copyediting requires a devotion to accuracy, completeness and fairness. What do you suggest as the best preparations for  this important profession?



  1. I suggest that the best way to prepare for such characteristics like accuracy, completeness and fairness is to know your facts. Being educated on what you’re writing about really helps writers stay accurate, complete and fair. Following the libel laws allow all journalist to write at their best and stay credited for what they write. I think often times, journalists stretch the truth to sound more entertaining and readable. When that begins to happen, their creditability is taken, and their pieces of work are not as accurate. Therefore, when journalists stick to the facts and stay accurate their work is more noted and believable.

    Comment by cmharrigan — August 25, 2009 @ 4:44 pm

  2. For the profession of copy editing practice makes perfect. By taking classes and editing first hand is the best preparation you can have. Copy editing is hard and it is something you have to continuously do to keep up with this certain profession. Sometimes for copy editing you will have to go over a certain article many times before you see all the errors. Get as much experience in the copy editing field before you venture off into the real world of copy editing. Take a position on a newspaper to learn all the ropes and then work your way up to copy editor.

    Comment by slbilharz — August 25, 2009 @ 4:45 pm

  3. The best preparation for copyediting, I believe, would be to take a grammar course. This way, you already have a good idea of the proper grammar and format before jumping into this profession. Also, a good preparation for copy editing would be to have your own blog. This way, you can practice editing on your own work before you try and edit for others. In my opinion, grammar courses and having your own blog would be the best preparations before you start copy editing for others.

    Comment by ketonra — August 25, 2009 @ 4:48 pm

  4. The best preparation would be a good understanding of grammar also pay attention to detail, whether it be small or big. Memorization or at least knowing most of the AP style book. remember to always look over your work, you are the last person who looks over the articles, therefore you must be thorough. i would also suggest reading countless articles and looking for common mistakes, giving you a better idea of what to look for.

    Comment by amyms — August 25, 2009 @ 4:49 pm

  5. The best preparation is practice. I think practicing in student publications and for smaller organizations can prepare a person for this profession. Editors could read different newspapers and find errors in published work. As student editors we can read friend’s essays for spelling, factual and grammar errors. These errors can better prepare the editor or future editor, and can also help the person know what to look for. Also, keeping an open mind and a passion for editing can allow a person to be fair and complete in every editing job they have.

    Comment by kejording — August 25, 2009 @ 4:49 pm

  6. I think the best preparation for someone who wants to be a copyeditor is to use the traits needed to edit the story correctly in your real life. Being accurate and fair in your real life will help you bring that into your job. If you live your life lying and being bias it will effect your editing because it is like you have trained your mind to lie. Also if you slack and never finish anything you will slack on your copyediting and you could possibly miss an important error that changes the story and effects the newspapers credibility. Being a copyeditor means you have to be fair and accurate. If you don’t prepare yourself by living a fair and accurate life your job and the story will suffer.

    Comment by emsteele1 — August 25, 2009 @ 4:51 pm

  7. Rather than reading to be entertained, copyediting should require a careful, critical reading of all documents under consideration. Reading for entertainment causes readers to gloss over errors because they are used to reading quickly so that they can get the most out of a story in a short amount of time. Errors may or may not compromise the contents of story being read. Slowing down to go over individual words or joined word groups ensures that a copyeditor is as thorough as possible. Multiple readings may also be beneficial. Going word by word, then sentence by sentence, then paragraph by paragraph breaks down the document in ways that prevent an editor from growing used to the content he or she is reading.

    Comment by kajoslyn — August 25, 2009 @ 4:51 pm

  8. The preparation for a profession such as copy editing requires an enormous amount of practice and patience, I’m sure. I never had a very good class dealing with grammar either in Middle School or High School, but I would think that a good understanding of grammar and of the structure of English would be vital to become a successful copy editor. Up until this point, I don’t know much about Copy Editing, but I think the news writing course required for my major will help me along. I would also think that getting involved in some type of student media, whether it be an online blog or a newspaper would be beneficial in order to learn the ins and outs of newspapers and editing.
    There’s not a doubt in my mind that such an important profession takes lots of time, lots of practice, and even more patience. Keeping up on current events and reading the newspaper daily would allow you to stay informed and also to recognize journalism strengths and weaknesses.

    Comment by ksully7 — August 25, 2009 @ 4:51 pm

  9. The best preparations for this profession is taking the time out to read newspapers and finding their mistakes. As a Copy Editor, it’s on you to make sure the everything is accurate, which takes time to perfect that craft. The only way that you can make sure that you completely understand the job at hand is to practice and have a professional help you in this regard. The last thing a Copy Editor wants is to lose their jobs because they didn’t fully check a story that could ruin a newspaper’s creditability, which is the most important thing to a newspaper.
    Other way to better prepare yourself for this profession is to find a mentor in Copy Editing. If you can find an actual professional who is willing to take you under their wing, go for it! There’s no better preparation than being taught by the professional themselves. This will help you develop the responsibilities that is needed for Copy Editing. Ask them if they could help you with looking over a story that needs to be copy edited, or ask them to look over a copy edited story that you have done. These key components will help you on your way to being a Copy Editor.

    Comment by lamarhreporter — August 25, 2009 @ 4:54 pm

  10. Several factors can prepare a person for the requirements of copyediting. The best preparation is to first have an education in Journalism. Without an education a person can lack the necessary knowledge about AP style and grammar. Having a college degree also can link a person to important sources that can enhance their job skills and relationships. Most common are professors and textbooks.
    Even without a college degree there are some simple steps to ensure accuracy within copyediting. Reading the roughdraft in multiple settings is a great way. It is always easy to miss errors when reading through the first time, but read it multiple times and each reading you will have a different point of view to consider.

    Comment by kdpeters — August 25, 2009 @ 4:54 pm

  11. The best way to prepare for accuracy and fairness with copy editing is to pay close attention to everything that has been taught in copy editing courses. Paying attention to basic AP style in the AP Style book may be a long and consuming process, but it is important and beneficial to everyone majoring in journalism to know everything there is to know about proper style. Completing exercises in class dealing with checking and correcting style errors isn’t good enough; keeping the exercise papers and re-reading them for future reference helps others keep the editing lessons in their heads.

    It is also helpful to analyze the writing style of as many newspapers, magazines, and other printed media. Seeing how journalists organize their words and thoughts helps in building one’s own vocabulary and spelling, especially if the articles written come from a professional level. Remembering the effort that journalists put in their articles when editing them will prevent editors from completely rearranging ideas and wording that come from the journalists themselves. It is beneficial to constantly have respect for journalists while editing so that readers will be able to have access to the writing skills and personal ideas that come from journalists.

    Comment by ambail — August 25, 2009 @ 4:59 pm

  12. To prepare for accuracy, completeness, and fairness in the copyediting field, one must first have experience and education in Journalism. To gain this, the editor needs to go through a series of courses specified toward copy editing. Also, the copy editor must have a knowledge of proper grammar skills, as well as the ability to write an article. It is important to know how to use the correct style when writing and editing the article. This may include taking classes outside the Journalism field, such as English.

    Accuracy comes after the copy editor has completed training and gained experience. Experience will only help the editor become more aware of the mistakes made while writing.

    The editor needs to know how a story or article should be able to thoroughly complete the editing of the article by going over the article several times. This will also aid in the accuracy.

    To be fair when copy editing, the editor must not have a bias toward the writer or topic. The editor must not show discrimination against age, race, religion, sex, etc.

    Comment by klshreve — August 25, 2009 @ 5:01 pm

  13. I believe that best preparations for this career would be at a college newspaper. College newspapers are a great place for future journalists to start at. These newspapers come out daily and they require copy editors to check them before they go to print. Journalism staff oversea these papers and they can help a future editor to improve his work and give him advise. College newspapers are almost like a major newspaper that millions of people read i has to be written in a high quality but yet it gives students great practice before the real newspaper job. Also reading newspapers very carefully and trying to find any mistakes is a great practice for future copy editors. Practicing time management is also a good way to get ready for this profession. One must get into a habit of completing all assignments on time and complete all of it not just a part. Copy editor is a very important position in a newspaper and practice and again practice over time will makes one better at his position.

    Comment by Michael Stopka — August 25, 2009 @ 5:05 pm

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