Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
Use These 3 Editing Tips to Ensure Your Writing Hits the Bull?s-Eye > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

Use These 3 Editing Tips to Ensure Your Writing Hits the Bull?s-Eye

The first step in the writing process is to put your ideas down on paper. Once you have text to work with, the second step is to revise what you have written to make it as clear, accurate and powerful as you can. The final step is to edit your work carefully.

Editing Tip #1: Take a Break

When you have concentrated on your writing for long periods of time, there is a tendency to read what you think is there-not what you have actually written! By taking a break for a few hours (or even a few days), you will return to your work with a fresh mind and fresh eyes. Suddenly you will realize that:

  • The rhythm of your sentences and paragraphs is off; either they are too short and choppy or too convoluted and long.
  • Some of your ideas are out of place and belong in a different paragraph.
  • One of your paragraphs doesn't make any sense!
  • You forgot to address a crucial aspect of your topic.
  • Some of your data is wrong or missing.
  • You have misspelled several words and accidentally omitted others.
Editing Tip #2: Edit at Two Levels: Conceptual and Line-by-Line

Editing is conducted at two levels. First concentrate on the conceptual, or substantive, level to ensure that your ideas are strong, logical and well-organized. Once this step is complete, go through your work line-by-line to check for small details such as spelling, grammar, word choice and punctuation.

Conceptual Editing

When you begin to edit at the conceptual level, try to approach your work as though you were the intended reader instead of the author. In your role as reader, look at the introduction. Is it compelling? Do you clearly understand what the topic, major points and slant of the communication will be?

Then look at the body. Do the ideas flow well, or are they confusing? Are they presented in some kind of logical order? Do concrete details help to paint a clear picture? Are any stray ideas lurking in unrelated paragraphs?

Does this communication seem to be written for you? In other words, do you feel like you are its intended audience, or does the writer fail to explain concepts, terms and acronyms you don't understand? Is the voice of this communication appropriate? Is it too formal? Too informal? Just right?

Did the writer insult your intelligence by repeating the same ideas over and over? Or did the writer present a strong, clear, coherent argument that you understood immediately? Finally, what is your overall impression of this communication (and its writer)? Positive or negative?

This technique of reading what you have written as though you were the intended audience will help you see your communications from a different perspective. Some of what you discover may surprise you. Make any changes that are necessary and then proceed to line editing.

Line Editing

The final step in the editing process is to go through your document line-by-line to check for errors in mechanics (e.g., spelling, grammar, punctuation), word usage and format.

If you included tables or figures, be sure to check that the captions are correct and that you entered the data correctly. Also be sure you have expressed your ideas as succinctly as possible. If you find your sentences are filled with empty, unnecessary words, delete them.

Try This!

If you are having problems "seeing" your errors at the line level, go to the end of your document and read the last sentence. Then read the second to last sentence. Continue working from the end to the beginning until you reach your opening line! This technique keeps your brain from automatically reading what you think you wrote and helps you see what is actually on the page.

A Special Word About Homonyms

The English language has many words, called homonyms, that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings. The four most common sets are: their/they're/there, too/to/two, your/you're, and its/it's.

These are FREQUENTLY used incorrectly! Even when you know the difference between them, it is easy to type the wrong word when you are concentrating on getting your ideas down on paper. Unfortunately, ordinary spell-check programs cannot distinguish between homonyms that are used correctly and those that are used incorrectly. Therefore, always pay special attention to these words when you are conducting a line edit.

Editing Tip #3: Always Spell-Check Your Work

It is amazing how often writers fail to perform this final edit--especially since it is so easy to do! I will agree that spell-check programs attached to word processing software cannot detect homonyms, that they highlight unfamiliar words that are actually spelled correctly, and that the grammar check is frequently just plain wrong.

On the other hand, they do pick up incorrect spacing between words, highlight a few grammar problems correctly, and catch most of your misspelled words. The process doesn't take very long and is easy to perform. In the end, you have nothing to lose by taking this final step and potentially much to gain!

Clarice Kyd Dankers, M.A., offers editing and coaching services to business and academic clients around the world. Her work incorporates eight years of experience in business communications with extensive experience in linguistics, publishing and university teaching. For more information about her services-or to sign up for her free monthly newsletter-go to http://www.PolishYourWriting.com

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

The New Yorker

Writing Teacher
The New Yorker
The gift of a snapshot, book, or story meant to break silence that settles in after they leave the university, the silence that being here, a student for a semester in my fiction-writing class, doesn't break, silence of living ordinary lives we all ...


Forbes

Writing A 'To-Do' List May Help You Fall Asleep Faster
Forbes
The authors, who published their results in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, pointed out that there are two hypotheses to explain how writing a to-do list might affect worry. One is that it would increase it, since you're calling to mind ...
Writing A To-Do List Before Bed May Help You Fall Asleep QuickerIFLScience
Writing a To-Do List Before Bed Could Help You SleepLive Science
Worrying keeping you up? Writing a to-do list before bed could be the key to a better night's sleepTV3.ie
AOL -CTV News -Baylor University -TIME
all 65 news articles »

Baltimore statue honoring the writing of 'Star-Spangled Banner' is defaced
Washington Post
A Baltimore statue commemorating the writing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” was found splashed with red paint Saturday with the words “Racist Anthem” sprayed on the sidewalk nearby. Police are investigating. The 1914 statue in Patterson Park is the ...

and more »

New York Times

No Longer Writing, Philip Roth Still Has Plenty to Say
New York Times
In 2012, as he approached 80, Roth famously announced that he had retired from writing. (He actually stopped two years earlier.) In the years since, he has spent a certain amount of time setting the record straight. He wrote a lengthy and impassioned ...


Gizmodo

The Expanded Universe Story That Lead to Lucasfilm Re-Writing ...
Gizmodo
The acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney in 2012 eventually brought with it a huge change for Star Wars fans: The dissolution of the Expanded Universe, which had been considered as part of the saga's vast canon for over two decades. But apparently, it ...

and more »

9NEWS.com

A conversation with students who are writing America's next chapter on race
9NEWS.com
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. changed the world with words. The truth is, few speeches match the impact of Dr. King's. So, instead of listening to elected officials speak about Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we turned to the voices of young Coloradans who ...
Martin Luther King Jr.'s scorn for 'white moderates' in his Birmingham jail letterWashington Post

all 4,275 news articles »

Washington Post

My retirement hero: Stan Hinden, who devoted himself to writing about building a better financial life
Washington Post
One of the reasons I got into journalism is to help people. I wanted to explain things they might not understand. Last week, Stan Hinden, a former Washington Post colleague, who was a gem of a human being, died. He was 90. Hinden devoted a lot of his ...


KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper

Writing Center facilitates students' reading, writing needs
KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper
On average, the Writing Center has approximately 8,000 individual tutoring sessions a year. Sara Omer, a senior English major and undergraduate writing assistant since fall 2016, as well as co-leader of Not Your Professor's Book Club, said the Writing ...


CBS Local

Writing Center Moves Off-Campus At Manual High School
CBS Local
DENVER (CBS4) – Only a year after establishing a writing center in Manual High School, students were able to create their own beautiful, off-campus space to continue their vision. After the untimely passing of their inspirational classmate, Mardale Jay ...

and more »

Southernminn.com

Area students named winners in MLK Day writing contest
Southernminn.com
Seven of the 10 winners in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Writing Contest pose with framed copies of their award-winning work. They are, back, from left, Fabian Ramirez, Sage Lewis, Jillian Huberty and Sumayo Aden. Front, Mohamed Abdi, Tegan Huberty ...

Google News

Revving Up Your Writing Productivity

Productivity begins by recognizing and valuing your brilliance, time, and... Read More

Benjamin Franklin: His Ageless Writing Tips

If Ben Franklin were alive today, he would be...uh, very... Read More

How To Publish Your Own Newsletter

With the expansion and diversion of businesses, manufacturers, and even... Read More

Writing For The Web: Where To Get Article Ideas

A friend and I were talking the other day about... Read More

Call Yourself a Writer? Where Are Your Notes?

Writers are notorious collectors of slips of paper. They tear... Read More

Story Structure - Final Conflict

Beyond three and four act story structure, lies the Hero's... Read More

How to Write Articles, Reports, and Books Quickly

Do you have trouble getting your thoughts and ideas down... Read More

The Hard Facts About Editing

Whether you're interviewing for a new job, trying to woo... Read More

How You Can Become a Certified and Profitable Proofreader

A certified proofreader is one that has taken a few... Read More

Think Market!

Griselda spent hours polishing up her resume. No detail was... Read More

Whats in a Name? Giving Birth to your Characters

So you've got your plot outlined, a title lined up... Read More

Get Published: The Nuts and Bolts of Good English, and How to Impress a Publisher (1)

Not all writers write good grammar. That's a fact. It's... Read More

7 Journaling Tips

Set your journal or diary where you will see it... Read More

How NOT to Get a Freelance Writing Job

In the business of freelance writing, it's not enough to... Read More

Write For Yourself First

It would be very selfless or noble of me to... Read More

Leveraging Your Writing

A frequent conversation I have with my writing clients is... Read More

Character Motivation - Always Ask WHY

For many years, I've been a tutor for students undertaking... Read More

How to Finish Your Self-Published Book Fast

Started a book and then got bogged down? Like many... Read More

Know Your Editing Choices

Each author has special editing needs. To save yourself time... Read More

The Spectre Hound

And a dreadful thing from the cliff did spring, and... Read More

Passionate About Writing?

I'm a writing fool! 2 book proposals, 1 user's guide,... Read More

The Value of Adding Images to Technical Documentation

It's cliché, but true-a picture does paint a thousand words.... Read More

3 Quick Tips on Plotting Your Book

Plotting a book can seem an overwhelming task when you're... Read More

Top Seven Mistakes Writers Make and What to Do About Them

Writers often get stuck because they make assumptions about writing,... Read More

Editing Secrets

Once you've plotted out your book, developed the characters and... Read More