Human Dystopia – Chapter 2 Examples


The only thing I would do here is add a query to ask what the author hopes to show in the chapter in order to put the chapter into context when compared with the first chapter. It would also be worth mentioning in a separate letter, email, or document that the chapter is shorter than the first chapter. Ultimately, decision on chapter length is to be left at the author’s discretion and all copy editors and proofreaders can do is advise.

Screenshots of examples

Original – Example 2-1 – Screenshot
Changes and Comments – Example 2-1 – Screenshot
Final Version – Example 2-1 – Screenshot

Original – Example 2-2 – Screenshot
Changes and Comments – Example 2-2 – Screenshot
Final Version – Example 2-2 – Screenshot

Some of the things I changed

√ I removed first-line indents for the first paragraph of each scene because it was not standard formatting.

√ I increased the size of indents because they were too small and almost unnoticeable as they were, at 0.13”.

√ Comma splices fixed: ‘They were fools to live in a place like this, terribly poor and misfortunate fools.’

Mini style sheet example


Mereza District






Non-serial comma

‘discomfort, starvation, thirst, irritation and isolation’
‘marketplaces, ramshackle buildings and shanty towns’


Queries indicate more work may be necessary by the author to ensure the story as a whole makes sense.

If Chapter 2 was used as part of a Sample Assessment and the query in the Direction section was asked before the editor accepts to work on an author’s story then this may indicate that the story would not be fit for publishing, as is usually understood by the aim of copy editing, because the author ‘may’ decide to rewrite or add some scenes or pages. What the author decides later, after the copy editing, is not the responsibility of the copy editor.

Human Dystopia – Chapter 3 Examples