What is Copy Editing?

Nov 16, 2020

Copy editing is a process that ensures that text is correct in terms of spelling, grammar, jargon, punctuation, terminology, semantics and formatting.

Copy editing also ensures that the idea the writer wishes to portray is clear and easy to understand. They make sure any factual data in the text is accurate and that any potential legal issues are brought to the publisher’s attention.

Copy editors have an incredibly important job: they make sure that the copy that gets to major publications, blogs, and platforms in hundreds of industries is readable, relevant, and informational.

What makes a good Copy Editor?


You can’t be a copy editor without a real, authentic passion for the sector within which you work.

Good copy editors do what they do almost compulsively, and they do it because they love the quality of well-written, error-free content.


Being able to develop creative solutions is critical. Copy editors must know how to execute surgical maneuvers on pieces of content to ensure that it leaves its mark on readers.

Creativity is as important to editors as it is to writers, and the best copy editors out there will understand how to integrate creativity with professionalism.

Sense of Connectivity

If a piece is related to another issue a copy editor must be able to locate the connection.

In addition to allowing the editor to make smart content decisions, this also helps boost the editor’s efficiency and ensure that each piece of content published falls into the greater web of things just as it should.


Any copy editor who will become successful in the business must be flexible and willing to adapt.

Since each publication, writer, and editor has different expectations, guidelines, and concerns, copy editors must be fluid enough to navigate the different crags and outcroppings of the industry gracefully.

What opportunities are out there?

Although many copy editors hold in-house positions as editorial assistants or production editors, copy editing is the perfect role to be undertaken on a freelance basis.

Copy editing is the perfect skill to learn if you’re someone who loves the written word and wants to help writers create beautiful texts that resonate with readers. It also offers a diversity of interesting projects and a chance to set your own work schedule.

By learning copy-editing skills, you will improve your employability and take steps towards building a strong, sustainable career.

Home office, coffee shop or even on holiday, once you’re up and running copy editing can be undertaken anywhere in the world!

How to become a Copy Editor

1. Understand the position

Familiarise yourself with the scope of the role. Ensure you have an understanding of the entire editing process and how you fit into this as a copy editor. Learn also what is expected of you as a copy editor and understand the various types of editing roles and how they fit within the overall process.


2. Read, read and read some more

Understand what types of stories are trending and what readers are looking for. Having your finger on the pulse of the literary scene will ensure you can help guide writers to craft a story that readers will buy, enjoy, and share with other readers.


3. Learn the skills

If you’d like to let potential employers and clients know that you are a trustworthy, well-trained professional, consider taking an accredited copy editing class. LSPR's CPD Approved training course can be taken online from anywhere in the world on in-person at our training facility in Central London.

The single-day course is highly practical and taught in small class sizes to ensure you have individual time with your copy editing expert, enabling the session to be tailored to your specifications.


4. Look for editing work

Take small editing jobs that come your way to build up your experience. Look on job listing websites designed for creative professionals to find these roles. The greater the diversity of work you do early on, the better editor you’ll become.


5. Find your niche

You can take a broad approach to editing and specialise in more than one type, but focusing the scope of your work can help you hone that particular editing skill.


6. Grow a network

Join professional organisations and connect with publishing groups to meet writers who will need an editor to review their work. The more contacts you have, the greater the chance work referrals come your way.

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