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Copy Editor

The Real Poop

If you no what is wrong with this sentance, you might be destined for the copy editing world. Copy editors are more than just the grammar police. They review "copy." What is "copy," anyway? Is that one of those guys who stands at intersections directing traffic? Uh, no. Copy is written content. The copy editor's job is to review publication-bound documents for spelling errors, grammar problems, and style guide inconsistencies. They then perform a musical exorcism, complete with head spinning, levitation, and projectile pea soup. Most publications choose a particular flavor of style guide such as Modern Language Association of America (MLA), Chicago or Associated Press. The fine people at Shmoop use Grammar Girl. Style guides, among other things, dictate how words are caPitalized, punc!tuated or mis-spelt.

Speaking of bad Spelling....

Duties performed by the copy editor vary depending on the lexical war zone in which they dodge verbal bullets. Word of advice: Know how to make a mean cup of coffee, because that fine skill will come in handy early in your career. Some companies may have the copy editor review story ideas pitched from writers, plan book projects, oversee publication production or collaborate with the graphic design department. (And the one thing that they all have in common is that they drink coffee. Regular.) A copy editor must wear a number of hats when at work <>, but not mind the hat hair. Sometimes, copy editors are the last to leave the office at night. They are sometimes the last people who get to change copy before it is printed or posted on a website.

A mental map: Those brave souls possessing the burning desire to edit typically major in journalism, English, or communications. However, there are some exceptions. For example, economic majors often work as financial reporters before entering the copy editing world. As soon as your last poster is firmly taped on your dorm room’s wall, you should be signing up to work for the school's newspaper. School papers are excellent training grounds for determining whether you like editing The professional connections you make should help you find that elusive high impact editorial job that is just so "you" after school.