7 Copy-Editing Exercises for Journalism Students

Test your skills and improve your writing with these drills

One way to hone your skills as a journalist is to practice editing copy. Even if you want to be a reporter, becoming proficient as an editor will improve your writing structure and syntax.

To practice on the following snippets of actual news stories, copy and paste them into your word processing program. Make the changes in grammar, punctuation, Associated Press style, spelling, and content.that you believe are appropriate and note any questions you have about the copy. If you want to know how you did, your journalism instructor probably would be happy to review your work. If you're a journalism instructor, feel free to use these exercises in your classes.


Emergency vehicles responding to emergency call in a city.
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There has been a tragic fire in a rowhouse on Elgin Avenue last night in Centerville. The fire broke out about 11:15 last night in the bottom floor of the rowhouse at 1121 Elgin Avenue. It quickly spread to the second floor where three people were sleeping.

School Board Meeting

School Board

Phil Roeder/Flickr.com/CC-BY-2.0

On Tuesday, December 5th, the Centerville High School held its monthly school board meeting.

Many teachers and parents attended the meeting, it was the largest meeting held in over a year at the school. The evening began with a presentation from the school's robot building program. The team had made it to the regional semi-finals in the competition where they fight robots that the teams had built.

Drunk Driving Trial

Judge holding gavel in courtroom
Chris Ryan / Getty Images

Jack Johnson was in court yesterday on charges of DUI and assaulting a police oficer

Jack was arested on June the 5th when he was puled over on State Street. Police Officer Fred Johnson testifid in court that Jack's Ford SUV was weaving and that he pulled him over at about 1 in the morning.


Hands in handcuffs, close-up
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Branson Lexler 45, was arrested April 6th after police responed to a domestic violence call at 236 Elm Street in Centerville. The first officer an the scene was officer Janet Toll of the Centerville police Department. When the officer arrived she discovered victim Cindy Lexler, 19, running out of her house with visibly bleeding from her mouth and swollen redness around her eye.

City Council Meeting

City Council Meeting


The Centerville City Council held a meeting last night. At the start of the meeting the council took attendance, then recited the pledge of alliegiance. Then the council discussed several issues. They discussed allocating $150 dollars to buy officie supplies for offices in the city hall. Council president Jay Radcliffe proposed apporving the money and coumncilwoman Jane barnes seconded it. the council passed that motion unanimusly


Crime scene barrier tape
Tetra Images / Getty Images

There was a shooting tonight at the Fandango Bar & Grill on Wilson Street in the Grungeville section of the city. Two men in the bar got into a argument. When the two started shoving each other, the bartender threw them out. For several minutes, people in the bar said they could hear the men still arguing on the street outside. Then there was the sound of a shot being fired. A few patrones rushed outside to see what had happened, and one of the men who had been arguing lay on the ground in a pool of blood. He'd been shot in the forehead. The victim appeared to be in his mid 30s, and was dressed in an expensive-looking suit and tie. The shooters was nowhere to be seen.

Drug Bust

Large Heroin Bust
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Five men and one women were arrested for running a drug ring in town. Those arrested ranged in age from 19-years-old to 33-years-old. One of the men was the mayors' grandson. Recovered at the scene of the crime, 235 Main Street, was about 30 pounds of heroine, and various items of drug paraephernalia.

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Your Citation
Rogers, Tony. "7 Copy-Editing Exercises for Journalism Students." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/editing-exercises-2073700. Rogers, Tony. (2020, August 27). 7 Copy-Editing Exercises for Journalism Students. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/editing-exercises-2073700 Rogers, Tony. "7 Copy-Editing Exercises for Journalism Students." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/editing-exercises-2073700 (accessed March 22, 2023).