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

Forbes

5 Steps To Positioning Yourself As A High-Value Freelance Writer
Forbes
The gig economy is on the rise—according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 57 million Americans are choosing this flexible alternative to traditional full-time employment. One of the most popular routes for freelancers and contractors? Writing ...


The Chronicle of Higher Education

'Approach Writing as a Fun Experiment'
The Chronicle of Higher Education
The writer Andrew Kay recently argued in our pages that the academic satire is dying. He says academics are too scared to laugh. Is he right? In the end, I just can't believe that. People need humor. It's a relief and a release. He emphasizes the ...


Voice of America

Report: Long Writing Assignments Now Less Common at US Colleges
Voice of America
Yet if you asked almost any professor or student, they would likely tell you that writing is one of the skills most often examined at colleges and universities. In the United States, writing long essays about complex subjects has been, in many cases, a ...


Mental Floss

London's Trafalgar Square Gets a Poetry-Writing Red Lion
Mental Floss
London's historic Trafalgar Square just got a fifth lion, the BBC reports. The fluorescent red, AI-powered lion takes visitor-submitted words and turns them into two-line poems, which are displayed on a screen inside its mouth. The history-inspired ...

and more »

Wilkes Barre Times-Leader

Our view: City, WBA need to put ageements in writing
Wilkes Barre Times-Leader
Luzerne County has long had a reputation for government deals made on the side with a handshake rather than a signature, getting things done with a verbal agreement rather than a written one. It is not an intrinsically bad thing. It can be expeditious ...


New York Times

The Writing Dead
New York Times
These days, when a popular author dies, financially savvy heirs often commission someone to keep writing his or her books. (There's even a term for this: “continuation literature.”) Sophie Hannah writes Agatha Christie novels; David Lagercrantz ...


Greensboro News & Record

What I'm Writing
Greensboro News & Record
Author: Valerie Nieman. City: Greensboro. Book title: “Leopard Lady: A Life in Verse”. Publisher: Press 53. What it's about: These poems tell the story of Dinah, an orphan child of Appalachia who runs away to a carnival, and the emotional, physical and ...


The Albany Herald

Alumni series focuses on Writing and Communications majors
The Albany Herald
TIFTON — While many people buy into the stereotype that students who study liberal arts disciplines in college will not get a job in their field, the people behind ABAC's Writing and Communications degree certainly don't. The Writing and ...


Washington Post

'100 Kegs or Bust': Kavanaugh friend, Mark Judge, has spent years writing about high school debauchery
Washington Post
A review of books, articles and blog posts by Judge — a freelance writer who has shifted among jobs at a record store, substitute teaching, housesitting and most recently at a liquor store — describes an '80s private-school party scene in which heavy ...
YouTube HTML5 Video PlayerYouTube
Hard Case Crime: the Beauty of Male Passion | www.splicetoday.comSplice Today
Barack Obama: the first female presidentThe Daily Caller
Georgetown Prep -Barnes & Noble
all 578 news articles »

The Spokesman-Review

The writing on the stalls: Students paint messages of hope
The Spokesman-Review
GRANITE FALLS, Wash. – Students at Crossroads High School want their classmates to find hope in an unexpected place. Teens from the leadership class painted the once-blue stalls in the school restrooms black. They returned with more brushes and ...

and more »
Google News

Mumblings

The self-indulgent writer listens only to the mumblings of sycophants,... Read More

How to Write Headlines for How-to Articles

Want to write a how-to article but can't come up... Read More

How You Can Become a Certified and Profitable Proofreader

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

Self-examination vs Self-indulgence

Self-examination is brutally honest. Self-indulgence is brutally maudlin.Writing requires the... Read More

Break in with Fillers: The Best Market for New Writers

Interested in breaking into writing or breaking into a new... Read More

Writing Helpful Help ? A Minimalism Checklist

User documentation is all too often written by programmers for... Read More

A Beginners Guide to Writing a Novel

No one is born a novel writer. But do you... Read More

Pages: Your Book of Life

Many of us dream of writing a book. Why not.... Read More

Should You Hire a Ghostwriter?

Have you heard the term 'ghostwriter' and wondered what they... Read More

Fight The Fluff!

The first and final rule of quality writing is this:... Read More

The Blank Mind

Many writers stare at the blank page or clean computer... Read More

Writers Who Consistently Cut The Mustard Do So Because...

Have you ever wondered why certain writers are able to... Read More

Top Seven Essential Hot-Selling Points To Implement Before Writing Chapter One

Every part of your book can be a sales tool.... Read More

How to Use Textpad to Write Articles Faster

It's a good idea to use TextPad because all opt-in... Read More

Writing Tips For Novice Authors

If you are reading this article then you probably have... Read More

The Makings of a Personal Essay, Really

Sometimes I can be dense when it comes to realizing... Read More

Review In 29 Steps Plus One

I just finished to read a book. A story for... Read More

Multiplying Sales As A Writer

Often, time is an enemy of writers. Sales seem slow... Read More

Need a Book Coach, Ghost Writer, or Editor? Part 2

If you either want to write a book to help... Read More

Planning Time To Write

In his book, "Achieving Financial Independence as a Freelance Writer,"... Read More

The Untold Secrets of Writing Best Selling Childrens Books

Ever wondered how the most successful children's book writers get... Read More

Plotting Problems - Episodic Writing

The rejection letter says: "Your story, on the surface, appears... Read More

Write Again! - The Art Of The Written Letter

Remember the days when we wrote with pen and paper?... Read More

Editing and Polishing - How Much is Enough?

A few days ago, I critiqued a chapter for a... Read More

Ghostwriting - Making Money by Being Invisible

My bookcase take up one whole wall in the family... Read More