Career & Opportunities

How to Become a Copy Editor

How to Become a Copy Editor
Written by Eddie Wood

Get to know how to become a copy editor by going through this article. As a copy editor, you must have a good eye for detail and enjoy reading and correcting mistakes in order to succeed.

To help their team produce error-free writing, copy editors must be meticulous and laser-focused.

An understanding of the primary functions of copy editing, as well as the training necessary to perform them, is critical before pursuing copy editing positions.

We’ll go over what it takes to become a copy editor, as well as the steps you’ll need to take to get there.

Read on to know more on how to become a copy editor.

What Is Copy Editing?

Editing for readability and style while correcting grammatical and spelling errors is what is meant by copy editing.

It’s not proofreading, despite the fact that the two functions have a tangential connection. Proofreading is concerned with catching typos and grammatical errors, but it does not go beyond that.

What Exactly is a Copy Editor?

It is their job to ensure that different types of text meet basic standards for grammar, style, readability, voice and other aspects of readability.

They are responsible for ensuring that all written content produced by an organization is of the highest quality and conveys the intended message.

Writing and illustration teams collaborate to ensure that all written content is consistent, and deliverables are completed in accordance with the agreed-upon schedule.

Copy editors can be employed in-house or as independent contractors.

What is a Copy Editor’s Job Role in the Publishing Industry?

Style and structure are both factors that copy editors consider when reviewing written content. They add commas and correct typos, among other things, on their own.

Copy editors provide extensive feedback on larger issues, such as the organization, focus, or tone of a piece, so the original author can make extensive corrections.

It is also possible for copy editors to rewrite sentences or sections of text in order to make the text read more logically and concisely. A copy editor’s responsibilities also include the following:

The process of verifying the accuracy of statements

Doing some research and adding some references

Titles and subheadings

Providing ideas for future enhancements.

Writers’ training in their employer’s writing style guide.

Changing the layout and formatting of the page.

Any type of writing can be edited by a copy editor. They have the ability to edit everything from news articles and job descriptions to manuscripts and emails, as well as company documents. It’s possible for copy editors to specialize in more research-intensive fields like technology.

Salary

A copy editor’s typical annual salary is $62,000. Working full time, copy editors can expect to make $35,865 a year on average.

A copy editor’s income can be affected by factors such as where they live, the type of company they work for, and their level of experience.

How to Become a Copy Editor

Follow these steps to get started on your career as a copy editor:

1.Take a College Course of Study

If you want to work as a copy editor, you’ll want to have a degree in English or a related field. A bachelor’s degree is required for most copy editing positions, although some employers may accept an associate’s degree or equivalent experience.

In order to improve your technical writing and editing abilities, consider taking courses or electives that focus on these subjects.

The fundamentals of editing

Editing of the news

Communication between the company and its customers

Pagination

Journalistic writing in the style of literary criticism

It’s all about the PR.

Ethics in journalism

Proofreading

2. Write and Read Frequently.

One of the best ways to improve your copy editing abilities is to read and write frequently. Become familiar with industry best practices and common readability and flow issues by reading the types of content you plan on editing.

Keep track of the things you’d change if you were an editor while reading other people’s work. To become a better editor, even though you won’t have to write any of your own material as a copy editor, writing can help you do just that.

It is possible to improve your advice and edits if you practice writing on a regular basis.

3. Investigate a Number of Distinct Niches.

Based on what type of writing you enjoy the most, consider pursuing a specific niche in the industry.

Internships in editing and proofreading can help you figure out what areas of expertise you have and where you want to go in your career.

4. Get Familiar with Various Style Manuals

Before applying for copy editing positions, familiarize yourself with popular style guides. Academic style guides like APA, MLA, Chicago and Turabian are often incorporated into each organization’s or client’s own style guide.

Copy editors are frequently expected to be well-versed in style guides and able to make quick changes to punctuation and formatting without consulting a manual.

In particular, if you want to copy edit any kind of technical or scientific writing, you should know this.

To get familiar with the style guides most commonly used in your chosen field, use flashcards or workbooks.

It’s a good idea to get your hands on a copy of the official style guide and keep an eye out for any updates.

5. Freelancing is a Great Way to Build a Portfolio.

Small-scale, freelancing editing jobs are ideal for honing your editing abilities and building a portfolio.

When you have an editing portfolio, you can show potential clients how much of an impact you can have on their writing.

To demonstrate your editing process, save a before-and-after version of these assignments or scan the documents to show your markups, if possible.

Copy editing notation and the ability to improve low-quality content can be shown in your portfolio.

6. Certifications can be obtained

Numerous educational institutions provide certificates in copy editing and other forms of writing.

If you’re looking for a job, having a certification can help you stand out from the crowd. Professional development and certifications in related fields, such as marketing or publishing, are also available to you.

The Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) and the Society for Editing (also known as the American Copy Editors Society) are both professional associations for copy editors.

In the course of your editing career, professional associations can assist you in obtaining training, attending workshops, and honing your skills.

7. An Impressive Resume Should be Created.

Your resume and cover letter, if you’re applying to be a copy editor, must be flawless. You should only submit written content that is free of errors and adds value to your application.

Remove any unnecessary or redundant information and use powerful verbs and adjectives to show your writing ability.

Consistent use of spacing and punctuation shows that you are familiar with formatting conventions and can put them to good use in your own writing.

8. Self-promotion

If you want to work as a copy editor for a company or as a freelancer, marketing your professional skills can help you stand out from the competition.

Think about setting up a personal website or using social media to connect with other writers and publishers.

If you want to edit a specific type of content, contact clients and organizations that produce that type of content and explain how you can help them improve their writing process.

In order to demonstrate how you can improve a website’s online presence, you can look for websites with writing and editing errors and provide an editing sample.

9. Completing a Series of Edits

As part of the hiring process for many copy editing positions, you’ll be asked to complete an editing test.

You’ll be required to read and apply a style guide to a piece of writing in a short amount of time. It’s important to pay attention to and correct as many mistakes as possible in these test pieces.

Finally

As a copy editor, you’ll have to have an eye for detail and the ability to spot minor mistakes in everything you read.

The job description of a copy editor is a little more extensive than that of a proofreader. If you’re still unsure, we’re here to explain the role of a copy editor.

To be a proficient copy editor, you must not only be able to spot errors, but also adhere to a style guide and verify the accuracy of the text. What are the requirements for becoming a copy editor?

About the author

Eddie Wood

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