Copyedited extract from a History book:

  • Ensured that language and tone were appropriate
  • Copyediting marks were legible in the margins
  • Author Queries were presented in a clear manner and fully addressed the question

(in other words, did not simply mark AQ but also outlined the issue)

  •  Headings were coded as indicated in the Style Sheet
  • I was not required to mark up bad word breaks but I needed to check the relevance and placement of images
  • I did not need to check each metric/imperial conversion but I had to mark up any that looked odd
  • Used a red pen, not a pencil
  • Used standard copyediting symbols
  • Used the Style Sheet for the correct hyphenation, spelling and capitalisation.

If the Style Sheet did not resolve the issue; I made a decision to override it if I thought that it contained errors or inconsistencies

Used appropriate Dictionary and Style Guides as references.


Copyedited a pictorial book written by different authors

  • Copyedited pages for sense, flow, voice and consistency
  • Checked that regional maps for the chapters and smaller maps for each of the country entries matched the text
  • Checked that images had captions
  • Checked that headings were appropriate and consistent across the country entries. Indicated heading weights in my mark up; and included a key for the designer
  • Compiled a list of common and frequently used spellings for foreign tricky words; for other editors working on the project
  • Kept tone authoritative especially when discussing statistics and facts. Preserved light-hearted author voice


Manuscript Assessment

  • Outlined successful delivery of all expected elements
  • Showed where emphasis was needed in key areas and with more explanation
  • Chapter needed to be cut down by 200 words
  • Icons and accents on words were required
  • A better pronunciation with English translation of foreign words was needed
  • Lack of logical structure and tone and author voice were too personal


Adherence to the Brief

  • Not followed properly; relied too heavily on a single tourist, rather than family travel; lack of focus


Content, Tone, Structure, Length or Extent

  • Bias in author’s tone
  • Content too wordy
  • Structure out of balance with limited feedback
  • Length was too long


Any potential problems with text or anything that may affect schedule/deadlines

  • There were chapter inconsistencies
  • There was a bold chapter heading but also roman headings; and one heading had a border under it and another heading did not. Some heading fonts were too big for all the text
  • There was sloppy presentation
  • Phone numbers were inconsistent

The author basically gave a narrative of her experience. The length was too long. This would blow out the budget and time; therefore costing more to publish the text.


Style Sheet

  • Outlined treatment of destination-specific words
  • Made a heading structure
  • Gave instructions in the brief that needed to be carried through to the chapter

e.g. Icons need to be added to the text to indicate telephone numbers, restaurants, transport, accommodation, sights (museums), information, beaches and shopping

  • Keep consistent when writing:

Temperature 15 ⁰C,

Days of the Week Sun Mon Tue,

Months of the Year Jan, Feb, Mar

Do not use asterix symbol *


Eras as 44 BC 1788 AD and

Time 9·00 am



  • No contractions
  • Full capitalisations for main headings, main words capitalized for subheadings
  • Numbers: Spell out if less than ten letters; numerals if more than ten letters

Exception- numerals are OK in Headings

% or per cent: Use % if using a numeral; per cent if number is spelt out (as per point above)



  • Use a spaced en dash
  • Brackets- round
  • Forward slash
  • Ampersand and &- never use always
  • Spell out “and”


Content (General)

ize/ise- use as per Macquarie Dictionary recommendation

eg: organize not organise

online (not on-line)

website (not web site)

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