Priority’s 16 Quick and Easy Copy Editing Tips

August 11, 2011: Tanya Albertsen, Executive Editor

So you’ve been hard at work to <insert: write copy for your company’s website redesign, create content for this quarter’s publication or monthly email newsletter, gather information for your annual report> and you want to make sure everything is p-e-r-f-e-c-t. Here are 16 obvious and not-so-obvious things to check when you’re preparing copy for your next important project. We hope our tips help. Try our easy-to-use printer button at the bottom of this post and keep these tips handy at your desk (it’s next to all of the social media icons)!

  • Is spelling/grammar correct?
  • Are facts correct?
  • Is style consistent with AP style or your company’s style?
  • Does content include proper disclosures and copyright information?
  • Did you pay special attention to captions and callouts?
  • Are names of people quoted in copy or listed in photo captions spelled correctly? Are job titles and/or credentials correct?
  • Did you check days and dates—does the day of the week match the date?
  • Is the last day of the month correct? For example, there is no November 31.
  • Will the publication be distributed before upcoming dates mentioned? Have any dated events already passed?
  • Are phone numbers and website addresses provided in a format that is consistent with your company’s style? For example, do you use periods or dashes in phone numbers? Do you bold or italicize websites? Do you include the www or not?
  • If submitting local content with phone numbers and websites, have you verified that they are correct?
  • If a correction has been made, did it affect anything else in the content?
  • Are numbered lists correct? For example, “Five Money-Saving Tips” shouldn’t just list four tips.
  • Is there a footnote for every asterisk, dagger or superscript number in the article? And vice versa—does every footnote have a reference in the text?
  • Are charts and graphs easily understood and correct?
  • Is content appropriate for your geographic area? Be especially careful of basements, garages and weather references.

Do you have any proofreading tips that you live by? Please share below.

This blog post was originally published on the Priority Blog at Priority Integrated Marketing is now BlueSpire Strategic Marketing.

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