Blog - Proofreading and Copy Editing

Creating a Style Sheet

One top tip of mine for proofreading and copy-editing is to create a style sheet as you go through the document. Of course, you should always follow the house style provided by your client/employer, but, in the case that you don’t have one, or one that is not very comprehensive, you can create your own. This will help you keep track of all style decisions made and is particularly useful for proofreading multi-author works, or second or third editions.

I recommend that the following are included:


e.g. ‘ise’ or ‘ize’ spellings*


e.g. e-mail or email


e.g. headings and subheadings in title case


e.g. one to nine written out, 10 above written as figures


e.g. single or double quotation marks


e.g. long lists or bullet points


e.g. Act 1, Scene 3, line 5 or 1.3.5


*It is commonly thought that American English uses ‘ize’ spellings and British English uses ‘ise’ spellings. In fact, while this is correct for AmE spellings, BrE can use ‘ise’ or ‘ize’ spellings, as long as you consistently use one or the other.

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