What is Copy?
- language that accompanies a visual text, such as an infographic or information/data visualization
Legends, captions, headers—these are samples of copy. The SEO (Search Engine Optimization) work that SEO copywriters do is a form of copy. Other examples of copy include snippets of language used in data/information visualizations, advertisements, and other visual documents.
Copy is typically written to persuade readers as a form of advertising, yet copy may also be informative. Rather than long paragraphs or pages, copy tends to be terse, often only a phrase or sentence.
What is Copy Writing?
Copy writing refers to the act of writing prose to accompany the body of a text. For instance, copywriters may write display blurbs to sell a book, headlines, or captions for data visualizations.
Related Concepts: Brevity; Design Principles; Simplicity; Flow, Coherence, Unity; Parallelism;
Why Does Copy Matter?
Copy tends to be high stakes.
Advertisers know readers’ attention is drawn to copy.
When used appropriately, quality copy reflects a professional ethos on the part of the author and brand the author represents.
When people read your copy, they make judgments about your ethos and professionalism. If you work is sloppy, if it includes grammatical errors (e.g., modification and parallelism errors) or if it’s wordy or has mechanical errors (e.g., fragments or run-on sentences), then your copy, reflects poorly on you and your brand.
What is Quality Copy?
Quality Copy is
- Grammatically Correct
- free of errors with subject verb agreement, pronoun agreement, modiciation, parallelism.
How Can I Learn to Edit My Copy?
Before publishing the final version of your copy, you are wise to edit it carefully. Sometimes all of the excitement around choosing images and using visual tools can cause you to lose track of the copy. That’s when embarassing, potentially costly errors may occur.
- Make sure the copy is as simple, concise, and clear as possible. Also, ensure you have established a professional rhetorical stance, be sure to check for common errors in copy, especially
- Bao, F. (n.d.). Nine steps to improve technical editing skills. STC’s Notebook, Society for technical communication. https://www.stc.org/notebook/2014/08/08/nine-steps-to-improve-technical-editing-skills/