Pattern help needed

I’m getting ready to start my first sweater project. I’m a little nervous, but I read through the entire pattern last night and I understand all of it execpt for one part. If anyone can explain it to me, I’d appreciate it. The pattern gives the instructions for working the back first (with nothing about neck shaping in it) it includes the BO three sts on two consectutive rows to form the arm holes and then says to work in st. st. until the piece measures 25 (25 1/2…etc.) Simple so far, right? Then we get to the front which tells me to “work as for back, including all shaping”. I get that, I do the same thing for the front and back. This is where I get confused: “at the same time, when piece measures “x inches” from beg, start neck shaping. Then it gives instructions for the neck shaping. What I don’t understand is do I work the back straight across the back like it seems to say in the instructions for the back or do I have to add the shaping for the neck like I do in the front? For reference, the pattern is the “To Dye For” sweater pattern on pg. 198 of Stitch and Bitch. I really want to make this sweater, but I want to get it right the first time. Any help would be much appreciated.

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