My Craft

Copy-editing, formattingproofreading, and indexing are all activities performed by hand that require a particular set of skills and knowledge, so each may be considered a craft.* 

 

In order to help you to determine the service to best meet your specific needs, a brief overview of each craft is provided, below. Additionally, the UK-based Society for Editors and Proofreaders provides a factsheet on copy-editing vs. proofreading that you may find useful.

Copy-editing

Editing text for grammar, syntax, word choice and usage, spelling, punctuation, and other style issues; consistency in style (e.g., spelling, capitalisation, date and number formats) and language, and internal consistency of facts; flow (i.e., clear and logical connections between phrases, clauses, sentences, paragraphs, and sections), tone (with consideration to audience), clarity of meaning, and ease of reading; removing ambiguity, wordiness, and needless repetition; appropriate use of technical and specialised terminology, including discipline-specific terms (reducing jargon, if possible), abbreviations, and units of measurement; formatting references and citations to appropriate style; consistency in presentation of tables, figures (inc. diagrams and illustrations), and lists; checking for broken links; and flagging potential legal issues.

Copy-editing does not include substantive or structural editing, fact-checking, or the checking of complex mathematical calculations.

Formatting

Applying genre-appropriate document, page, and element layout to manuscripts so that appearance is consistent throughout, including: the application of title, heading, paragraph, header and footer styles; font type, colour, size, alignment, and kerning; standardising paragraph and line spacing; adding section and page breaks, and controlling “widows” and “orphans;” creating a table of contents; standardising the presentation of tables, lists, and captions.

Proofreading

Checking proofs of edited material formatted in final layout for completeness, adherence to design, and for minor errors in copy (e.g., errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation, or small deviations from style sheet).

 

Proofreading is a final quality check and tidy-up prior to typesetting or publication, and any work that exceeds these processes is considered copy-editing.

The term “proofreading” is often loosely used to include copy-editing and other tasks. It is not so used here.

Indexing

Producing a key to the contents of a work, which includes: reading and analysing the work; choosing subjects, concepts, and other elements that together form a systemic guide to the information contained in the work; arranging these elements into entries consisting of headings and subheadings and their locators (e.g., page numbers); and arranging the entries alphabetically or in some other searchable order.

 
 
 
 

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