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Journal for JosephKirbyJournal for JosephKirby

What Every New Copyeditor Needs to Have on Their Desk

Are you new to the profession of copyediting? Make sure that you keep these reference books and custom writing help in easy reach for guaranteed success.

Copyediting is a job that requires the ability to scrutinize text for accuracy, consistency, clarity and concisiveness. If a copyeditor will help me write my essay, he needs to be detail-focused is the main prerequisite, but it is also necessary that a copyeditor be familiar with certain reference books and know how and when to use them. The following books are must-haves for every copyeditor, especially those who are just starting out in the industry.

A Dictionary
Every copyeditor should have a dictionary on his or her desk, within easy reach, as this is probably the most often consulted reference book. A good dictionary will not only provide definitions and proper spelling, but also useful information such as pluralization of words, parts of speech and additional usage information. Investing in a good dictionary is key. Be sure to be using a collegiate version and preferably the most recent edition, as this will include all the most recent annual language additions.

A Style Guide
Depending on the industry and the individual client, the style guide a copyeditor uses will vary. There are many popular choices: AP (Associated Press), The Chicago Manual of Style and Words into Type. A good copywriter will have working knowledge of one style guide, with the ability and access to others as needed. Once you become familiar with one style guide, it is often easier to at least recognize what you should be modifying when editing with other guides (examples include abbreviations, addresses and numbers). Style guides should be consulted for rules pertaining to editorial issues and they ensure that all editorial staff remains consistent with their copy.

A Thesaurus
Write My Paper for Me cheap service desk lets you know, from time to time a piece of copy will contain a word that is repeated so often, that it becomes an annoyance to the reader. At this point a copyeditor should recognize the redundant word or phrase and refer to a thesaurus for a fresh synonym. By replacing the overused word or phrase, the copy will be much more readable and sound more polished and professional. Again, when choosing a thesaurus (just like a dictionary), choose the most recent edition. This will provide you with the most current word choices.

A Grammar/Usage Guide
Referring to a grammar/usage guide is necessary when a problem or question arises regarding punctuation or other general linguistic rules. Some of the most popular guides include: The Elements of Style, Fowler\'s, Merriam-Webster\'s and Garner\'s. There are even some guides that disguise themselves as books that are enjoyable reads and educational supplements as well such as: Lapsing into a Comma, Eats, Shoots and Leaves and The Elephants of Style.

Books Vs. Websites
While there are plenty of websites available that offer the above information (not to mention the options that are installed in word processing programs), the main benefit of using books is that they are more comprehensive. While referring to a dictionary or style website for quick information is certainly acceptable, it is often advisable to refer to an actual book for the final word on any discrepancies that occur when editing a piece of copy. Again, this is because copyeditors need to maintain a degree of consistency across the board. If every copyeditor refers to a different website for their information, chances are good that they will receive varying answers (not to mention incorrect ones).

Copyediting is a job that heavily relies on the editor\'s ability to know when to consult a reference book; therefore, having a shelf containing the right books can make a huge difference in your on-the-job success.

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