Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Copy Editing & the 77th Kid Lit Blog Hop

While time consuming, copy editing is the most important job you have as an author, after writing your story. Before the groans start, let me tell you that copy editing is a skill that be learned and gets stronger with practice. There are multiple methods for copy editing, and you should use multiple ones to catch the most errors. Here are ones that I taught my students, and that I use for my writing.

1. Start at the end of the text to proofread for spelling and punctuation errors.  Read backwards to eliminate the problem of reading what should be there and what is actually there. According to Martha Watson Smitherman, education director for National Association of Legal Secretaries (NALS) of Missouri, the “brain relies more on the shape of a word than its actual spelling...” (25) Focus your brain to read the words on the printed page. You will catch more misspelled words this way. Punctuation errors are also more evident when reading backwards. The flow of the text does not interfere with the proofreading like reading from the beginning would.

2. Read the text aloud to be able to hear how one sentence flows into another sentence and one paragraph leads into another paragraph. This copy editing method allows you to focus on grammar usage and punctuation marks such as commas. Don’t be embarrassed to use a ruler to focus on one line at a time. By covering up the rest of the text, your brain is prevented from anticipating what is coming in the next line.

3. Listen to someone else read the text aloud. This method allows the listener to focus on the words and content. Follow along on a separate copy of the text. Catch sentence structure and flow problems and reveal content weaknesses by reading the written text as it is read out loud.  According to Smitherman, “Things that one person tends not to notice will jump out at the other.” (25) If you have no one to read to you, set your computer to speak the text by accessing the preference menu. The voice is different, but it allows you to hear the text if another person is not present.

4. Write out a checklist for proofreading and correcting the mechanics of your story. Include, at the least, the following items: spelling, capitalization, punctuation, grammar usage, and sentence structure.

  • Check spelling by using spell check on the computer and using a dictionary for unfamiliar words.  Watch for homonyms, those words that are spelled differently but pronounced the same.
  • Check for capitalization not just at the beginning of sentences but of proper nouns within sentences.
  • Read up on comma rules as these are the most misused of all punctuation marks. Check each comma in your text to see if its usage follows a rule.
  • Make sure your story conforms as much as possible to proper grammar conventions. Check for subject-verb agreement and proper grammar.
  • Determine if sentences are complete thoughts or fragments. Watch for sentences beginning with “because”, “and”, “so” and “then”.

And Now,   

Welcome to the 77th Kid Lit Blog Hop. This exciting Hop, now monthly, is where we develop an engaged group of people who love everything that has to do with children's literature.

On this Hop, Carpinello's Writing Pages interviews
Children's/MG author
Children's author

It's Summer time! We want to welcome you to the July 2016  Kid Lit Blog Hop. This exciting, monthly hop, is where we develop an engaged group of people who love everything that has to do with children's literature. Everyone is welcome to join us: bloggers, authors, publicist, and publishers!


NEW THIS MONTH: The Kid Lit Blog Hopper Facebook fan page. This page will have all the news and information related to the hop plus ongoing posts, giveaways, news articles, etc. related to Kid's Lit. Check it out and of course, please like the page.


So for our hop, simply make a post related to Children’s literature and add it to the linky. (Please make sure to add your direct post only) If you are an author, feel free just to link to your blog.
Once you are done, then hop around to visit others. Please follow the co-host and visit at least the two people above your link. Please leave a comment when you do visit, we all like those.

Also, it would be appreciated if you grab the Kid Lit Blog Hop Badge and display it on your blog and/or your post.

We would also be grateful if you tweet and/or posted on Facebook about the blog hop. Let’s grow this wonderful community.

Our next hop will be August 17, 2016.  The hostess will be around to see you. Happy Hopping!

Reading Authors, Hostess

Julie Grasso


Cheryl Carpinello

Pragmatic Mom

The Logonauts

Spark and Pook

Hits and Misses

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