What is copyediting and why it is needed?

Do you know a good writer spends at least 50% of their total writing time rewriting or editing their documents? The writing process has only just begun when the last word of the first draft is written. It is in the process of revising and editing that the draft takes shape and becomes a crafted piece of writing. Writing is an art, and like any good artist, a good writer continues to work on a piece until it has the desired impact.

Most writers can spot obvious errors such as misspelt words and misplaced punctuation while revising their documents. However, despite their writing skills and revisions, they still resort to the professional service of copyediting to ensure their documents convey the writers’ messages as effectively as possible.

Copyeditors analyse, process, and transform copy into coherent, easy-to-understand prose. They look at the big picture and ask questions like “What’s the author trying to say?” and “How will the reader best understand him?” It is a common error to think editing simply means replacing poorly written phrases with new, better ones.

The process of copyediting aims to achieve
• Clarity of thought,
• Attention to the reader’s needs,
• Clear expression of the document’s purpose,
• Accuracy of information,
• Appropriateness of tone,
• Effective use of language (word choice), and
• Conciseness

Therefore, copyeditors step into the intricacies of voice and language, plot and argument, and they maintain grammatical and tonal consistency.

Often, proofreading is mistaken for editing. As a matter of fact, they require two fundamentally different conceptual processes. Editing is a process of analysing and resynthesizing conceptual chunks of information into coherent and effectively expressed ideas. Editing goals are clarifying, strengthening and condensing the message to form a coherent and meaningful whole. It requires viewing the forest, not the trees. It involves a lot more effort and skill since it involves altering and correcting content and syntax. On the other hand, proofreading requires viewing the trees, the branches, the leaves, and even the bugs on the leaves.

What can AT-Translation do for you?

For authors who wish to publish their articles in journals or make their publications available in the public domain, it is always advisable to use professional copyeditors to check their works and ensure that their works meet the standards of the publisher and are accessible to the readers.

AT-Translation offers different levels of service to meet the needs of our clients. Some documents may need considerable content and language editing to deliver clear and concise messages whereas others may need only proofreading involving making minor changes, additions and deletions.

We provide copyediting of general and business documents, research articles, book chapters, and monographs but we do not offer copyediting of student coursework.

Before we take on any copyediting job, we will discuss with the author to understand their intentions and evaluate the documents they present. Then we can advise which service is needed and how much time may be required.

What do we charge for our copyediting service?

We adopt the minimum hourly rate (i.e. copyediting @ £31.30/hour) recommended by the CIEP. The actual cost per 1000 words depends upon how much editing is needed. Our experience suggests that normally one or two hours are needed for 1000 words.

Please send your document to us for evaluation and price quote.

Why should you choose AT-Translation for copyediting?

AT-Translation has a sister establishment AT-Publishing. For publications, in-house expertise is readily available for all levels of copyediting and proofreading. We can make your articles or papers more appealing to editors and reviewers, especially when you are to submit your papers to journals that do not offer copyediting. In such cases, the editors will only accept close to impeccable manuscripts.

As a translation service focusing on Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Russian source languages, our team of native speakers have the in-house knowledge to identify and address any common language issues and grammatical errors. As a result, we are better positioned to understand and serve our clients for their specific language needs.