CPC blogabout

A Gannett Louisiana Content Production Center share point

Three steps to better copy reading

Posted by kathyspurlock on December 29, 2009

As I proof pages in the Content Production Center, I often see issues that should be caught by copy editors before the proofing stage.

So, I’m not assuming everybody knows how to read copy. Here’s a quick guide:

1. Read the content as a reader. Does everything make sense? Is it free of jargon, slang and “insider” talk? Do you understand the story? I’ve always imagined my grandmother sitting at her breakfast table with the newspaper — would she understand this story? 

2. Read the content as an editor. Correct errors in spelling, AP style and grammar.

3. Read the story one more time for both content and context. You should be using active spell check, and check spellings. Also check every name to make sure the first reference to someone didn’t get edited out in the editing process.

If you do these three things with every story before you proof it, your pages will be much cleaner and you’ll have fewer errors.

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