Have a look at this sentence and see what you think: “When their is no food left, your going too be hungry.”
Notice any mistakes? To many people, this is an unpublishable sentence due to the amount of errors it contains. You don’t want to hurt your business’s sterling reputation simply due to a few basic writing mistakes.
Well, this is where copy-editing and proof-reading come in to play!
Once copy-edited and proof-read, the sentence should read: “When there is no food left, you’re going to be hungry.”
What is copy-editing?
Copy-editing is the process of making sure written material flows the way it should do.
At On Point, we look for a number of things when we’re copy-editing a document.
First and foremost, the structure of your document is its foundation. A solid structure is essential – especially snappy sentences and short paragraphs. So we normally do a lot of work in this regard. We ensure that the copy is spaced out appropriately with paragraph breaks. And we’ll also introduce sub-headings where necessary. These can help the reader (and writer) navigate through the writing.
The single most important component of any document is the heading (aka title or headline). Just about all documents should have one. A good heading will help the target audience identify that the writing is for them and make them want to read on. This is something to check whilst copy-editing.
A call to action at the end of your piece is essential. You might have written the most informative piece of content ever. But if it doesn’t persuade your target audience to pick up the phone and get in touch – or whatever you want them to do – you’re missing out on your business opportunity. So we’ll ensure this is present during the copy-editing process.
Copy-editing vs proof-reading – What’s the difference?
Proof-reading and copy-editing are often presumed to be the same thing – but they’re not!
Copy-editing is a more heavy duty process, directly improving the writing style, tone and flow of the copy. In contrast proof-reading is that final safety check to ensure no errors have slipped through the net.
While any changes of substance are made to content during the copy-editing stage, proof-reading a document is necessary to pick up on any minor mistakes, such as a rogue full stop or a stray apostrophe.
If you are proof-reading and doing more than correcting the occasional typo or inserting an apostrophe, then you are not really proof-reading – you are still copy-editing.
Bearing all this in mind, you will see why sometimes when we are asked to proof-read a document, we will in fact be copy-editing it.
The importance of copy-editing
Nowadays many businesses need to constantly produce exciting and relevant content. Everything your business creates must be succinct and engaging.
If you need to stick to a word count but find yourself rambling, copy-editing is a very useful tool to refine what you have written and ensure that you do not exceed the word count.
You could argue that copy-editing is one of those tasks that goes unnoticed when it has been done well, but is highly noticeable when it has not. Nevertheless, its importance is paramount if you wish to maintain a professional image of your business in your writing.
So, to summarise the differences between the two:
- Rewriting and rearranging text, for instance spotting non-sequiturs.
- Making sure the copy flows.
- Ensuring the content is succinct.
- Checking for consistency.
- Sometimes, it includes fact checking.
- Applying the correct tone of voice if it is not present already.
- Ensuring that grammar and punctuation are correct.
On Point copy-editing service
Some of our clients enjoy writing themselves. They then come to us needing a fresh set of eyes to copy-edit and proof-read their content. We can provide a strong outside perspective and ensure that their copy is presented in the best possible way.
On Point’s copy-editing and proof-reading service is a great way to make sure your content is top quality – even if you’re on a tight budget. Have you already invested time writing engaging copy? Our professional service is a cost-effective way in which we can work with you.
To ensure that your content is the best it can be, contact us on 0117 244 0116. Our team will guide you through the writing process and make sure that all your copy is relevant, engaging and on point!