On Monday night, I took my first ever copyediting class.  The Mediabistro’s website offers many classes to provide useful skills for writers and anybody in the media industry.

The class had sixteen people, primarily composed of women.  The instructor was witty, intelligent, and supportive with our dreams of entering the wide world of copyediting.

I learned there is a difference between being a Proofreader, Copyeditor, and Line Editor.

We spent a huge portion of the class understanding the nuances and crossover of these three titles.

A Proofreader is in charge of spelling, grammar, punctuation, the layout, and structure of print.

A Copyeditor looks at word choice, tense consistency, jargon, overwrought prose, wordiness and fact checking.

A Line editor goes through the copy for context, tone, clarity, and stereotypes/clichés if by that part in the editing process it has not been looked at.

I thought that a Copyeditor did all these three jobs but apparently not; if a company wants a Copyeditor, now I know that I have to ask about the other positions because then my rate will go up accordingly! (Even though I don’t know what my rate is just yet.)

We did an in class exercise which was really fun and we also have homework.  With practice and resources, I’ll be a bona fide Copyeditor in no time!

This class is going to be a blast.


One response to “Copyediting

  1. Thanks for clearing up the confusion on the three roles:)
    Yet, I fear there would be some overlap in practice.
    For example: A copy editor and a line editor might disagree on jargon and cliches…

    Warm Regards,

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