Copyediting Midterm


I have posted this after our midterm for the class was completed and everyone had turned it in. I did not post this with the intent of others to cheat but rather to show my skills on my website, which is a working portfolio. I also have not directly shared or promoted this post to anyone in my class or even at my college, Kennesaw State University.


The students within the Professional Editing course were asked to preform a medium copyedit of a five page document. We were given one week to complete the midterm and we were allowed to use the Chicago Manual of Style and our textbook while completing the copyedit. Below is my copyedited version of the document.

Grade Received: 86%

Feedback From Professor:

“You improved the documents with many appropriate edits and corrections.
Work on conducting the research necessary to make a document conform to house style (in this case, Chicago). You missed a number of issues:
Missing comma after Illinois (see CH and previous quiz): “like Chicago, Illinois where”
CMS 9.32: “Particular centuries referred to as such are spelled out and lowercased.”
CMS 9.18: “Except at the beginning of a sentence, percentages are usually expressed in numerals. In nontechnical contexts, the word percent is generally used.”
CMS 9.8: Whole numbers used in combination with millionbillion, and so forth usually follow the general rule (see 9.2). See also 9.4. For monetary amounts, see 9.20–25; for the use of superscripts in scientific contexts, see 9.9.

  • The city had grown from three million in 1960 to fourteen million in 1990.
  • The survey was administered to more than half of the city’s 220 million inhabitants.
  • The population of the United States recently surpassed three hundred million.”
Part one of my copyediting.

Something that I recognize is that there are some issues with passive voice misuse, intricate text, and word choice still within the document. We were asked to preform a medium copyedit and these were errors that we were not taught to focus in on. This course was an introductory course, so we may focus on these issues in the future but we didn’t as of now.

Part two of my copyediting.

Another important thing to remember when copyediting is that you cannot fully rewrite sentences for the author because then it would become your manuscript. Your job is not to transform the manuscript into your own work by completely rewriting things but rather to fix grammatical errors, syntax, query, etc. This has been a very difficult thing for me to remember when copyediting.

Part three of my copyediting.

If you are someone who is not familiar with copyediting, I used Microsoft Word and turned Track Changes to on under the Review tab. This allows the software to automatically form a red line on the left side of the document so that the reader can see where exactly a change was made. If you click on the red line, the changes you see in my images will appear. Without clicking on that line, you wouldn’t see what you are currently seeing in my photos.

Part four of my copyediting.

Something that copyediting has caused me to do is to second guess every single word and punctuation in a given document, even my own. You can easily miss the smallest, minute details when copyediting and it’s borderline stressful to edit a document. However, I feel really accomplished once I complete my review of a document and is something I’ve grown to enjoy doing.

Part five of my copyediting.

If you would like to view the copyedited document in its entirety, you can find that here.

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