A copy-editor’s role, in addition to identifying and rectifying any errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation and layout, is to help improve a document, article, manuscript etc. in terms of clarity, enjoyment, logic, accuracy, flow, and meaning.
When copy-editing for you, therefore, I will do my utmost to ensure the following:
Suitability of the text for the intended audience (e.g. appropriateness of the language)
Appropriate sentence and paragraph length (tailored to the intended audience)
That content is ordered logically (is anything missing or superfluous? Is natural flow interrupted by any unnecessary digressions?)
Appropriate word/page limits – some texts may need to be shortened
Appropriate heading and sub-heading structure, creation of glossaries etc.
Flagging up of any potential issues re copyright, plagiarism, obscenity etc.
I work either on paper using British Standards Institution (BSI) mark-up symbols or electronically using Track Changes in Microsoft Word.
Editing can involve more in-depth work, such as developmental or substantive editing. This level of editing would come earlier in the publishing process than copy-editing, and is not a service that I offer.