When a client asks me to provide a copy edit, this is usually what’s involved unless otherwise negotiated:

  • editing for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage
  • checking for internal consistency within the document
  • editing tables, figures, and lists
  • querying any information that may need double-checking for accuracy (this can be spelling of names, dates, citations, and facts that trigger my historian’s spidey-sense)
  • editing for bias and plain language
  • checking that weblinks are operable and lead to the correct site
  • flagging awkward constructions and suggesting possible revisions
  • querying material that’s unclear or could use further substantiation
  • eliminating/reducing jargon, cliches, and euphemisms
  • flagging areas of redundancy, both in argumentation and in vocabulary
  • ensuring consistent voice, tone, and level of formality throughout the document that’s appropriate for the audience, medium, and purpose
  • adjusting the length of sentences and paragraphs to improve readability
  • formatting the document to match submission criteria as provided by press, including notes, citations, and bibliographies

Check out my Portfolio for a list of some of the types of works I’ve copyedited.