Decisions, Decisions

“The key role of the copy-editor is to close up the gap between what the author intends to say and what they’ve actually said”— Lianne Slavin

lecture slide

Something learned from this lesson is that when copy-editing, there are many different styles that can be considered correct, as long as it makes sense and portrays the right idea across to the reader. The amount and places writers might insert grammar varies and depending on the publishing house, it will either be recommended to keep the writing style the same or to change it to the specific style guide.

New Insight
En-rules and em-rules where news to me! I wasn’t aware that different dashes existed. It was also useful to see how the British and American punctuation differed- again I did not know this was a thing, I thought only Americanised spelling differed. Also assumed all full stops came at the very end, apparently this is not always the case… They can exist inside the speech mark if this is the end of a sentence instead. Also, quotations should appear exactly as they did in the original text such as punctuation, although basic typographical changes can be amended.


We also learned how to organise prelims, check tables and figures, footnotes and end-notes and the folio. There are also a few different referencing styles though the two most common are author-title system and author-date system. We assessed a chapter and bibliography to see what state they were in, saw what styles the author used, whether these were consistent and discussed them as a class.

Rules I learnt today:

Hyphen: used to join words together.

En-dash/rule: usually joins up two dates.

em-dash/rule: can take the place of commas, parentheses, or colons. A way of adding something else on to a sentence.

Numbers are usually changed to letters if they are under 10.

It is fine to capitalise a word after a colon or to leave it as long as you are consistent.

Britain uses single quotation marks for initial quotations and double for quotes within quotes. This is the other way round in the US.

My Grammar and I by Caroline Taggort seems to be a good book to read for grammar (see below) although it is useful to remember that grammar and the way we use punctuation does change. For example, many people tend to use hyphens instead of en-dashes…