Effective copy editing

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1. Don’t make their story your story

· Be less hands on when editing copy

· Bandage, not scalpel: improve work, don’t rewrite

2. Remove the clutter

· One idea per sentence

· Watch for redundancy

· No unnecessary adjectives or adverbs, avoid qualifiers

3. Praise in public, constructively criticize in person

· When people do things well, tell them

· When they don’t, ask what they would do differently if they could do it again

4. Don’t assume that facts are correct

· If quotes or facts sound weird, ask about them

5. Avoid “feel” or “think” — we don’t know how people feel or think

6. Make sure that the story flows

7. Verify that all sides/stockholders are represented

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The Student News Site of Journalism Education Association of Northern California
Effective copy editing