Copy Reading and Headline Writing

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Copyreading is much like the work of a communication arts teacher correcting compositions, except that he uses different symbols. A copy may be a news item, an editorial, a feature story or any literary article. Duties of a copyreader:

1. Straighten out ungrammatical construction.
2. Shorten sentences and tighten paragraphs.
3. See that the paper’s style requirements are strictly followed. Check names, addresses, title, designations, identifications, figures, etc. 4. Rewrite the story completely if it is poorly written.

5. Rewrite the lead or the first few paragraphs whenever necessary, but must never tamper with the facts unless he is sure of his corrections. 6. Delete all opinion, speculations and statements on news which are without attribution or sources. 7. Watch out for slanting or any attempt to present the story in a subtly biased way. 8. Watch for libelous statements.

9. Recheck figures and totals.
10. Cross-out adjectives in news which tend to make a story sound over-written. 11. Cut a story to size or to the required length if necessary. 12. Check attributions and see to it that they are properly identified. 13. Challenge facts, claims, or reports when they sound anomalous, illogical and incredible. 14. Check sluglines and paging sequences

15. Write headlines

What to copyread?

1. Errors in fact
2. Errors in grammar
3. Errors in structure
4. Errors in style
5. Libelous and derogatory statements
6. Seditious and rebellious matter
7. Expressions contrary to law and good taste
8. Opinion and editorializing statements
9. Verbal deadwood, redundancy
10. Technical terms, slang, jargons

Copy-reading symbols
Punctuation Marks
Symbols Meaning Outcome
The Bionic Woman Emphasize quotes “The Bionic Woman”
Dr Arthur Cruz Jr Emphasize periods Dr. Arthur Cruz Jr.
said “I must go.” Emphasize comma said, “I must go.” Numbers and Abbreviations
in Nov. Spell out in November
Doctor Arthur...
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