Revision occurs throughout the writing process and it encompasses rethinking, overall structure, focus, thesis and support. As such, editing and proofreading take it that the write is writing the final draft in the process of making is correct. This correctness refers to grammar, punctuation, spelling, sentence structure, word choice, style, all of which are important to the reader because the have a drastic effect on the perception of the writer’s authority and credibility.
As such, effective editing services requires you to read your writing severally and carefully and play the role of the reader, not the writer as it were. Editing involves different strategies, but first, it is important to understand what it is.
Editing is the process of identifying and correcting errors that are typical to their own writing. They can also use professional editing services if need be. It focuses on problems that relate to the individual writer and their occurrence is recurring. As such, you have to know the type of errors that you make during most of your writing. Then develop strategies that you can use to finding these errors and correcting them. Some of the strategies you can employ in your editing are as follows:
- Reading the paper aloud
This enables you to listen for errors. Careful listening assists in correcting the errors that you hear. You have to pay attention to incomplete phrases, sentence and ideas and other things that might sound awkward.
You have to stop and correct any mistake you find as soon as you see it. This encompasses punctuation spelling and sentence structure. Move through the paper at a reasonable rate.
Read the entire paper and check for readability of some spots that sound awkward or those that are not clear. Mark these spots for later corrections once you are done reading the paper.
Give yourself time between reading your paper and editing. You can wait a day to allow the writing to ‘cool down’. You also get the opportunity to ‘see’ the mistakes. You will also return to the work with a fresh mind and fresh eyes.
- Read one sentence at a time
Use a clean sheet of paper to cover all the text except the sentence that you are reading. Tread the sentence carefully and ascertain if it sounds and looks correct. Find out if it says, what you want is to say. This should also be the case when you enlist professional editing services. Continue doing this for the rest of the document.
- Look for pattern of errors
Personal patterns are associated to every writer. They refer to the mistakes that are typical to their style of writing. If you have a tendency of forgetting commas, check for commas. If you have difficulties with transitions, look for transitions. If your problem is wordiness, watch out for this. You can also make use of a tutor to help you in enhancing your editing skills.
- Know your grammar and punctuation rules
Study the rules of grammar and punctuation and review the ones that are not familiar to you. If you have a writing handbook or handout, keep them out when you write. They are a good referral especially when you have questions as you write and edit.
- Eliminate words that lessen the impact
Most of line editing involves thinking about where the words in a sentence make the best composition. You can try to change the way the sentence is constructed. Get rid of words that are used often and but are unnecessary. Edit these words out to maintain the impact of your document.
- Hold the reader’s attention
Find out if a sentence or paragraph holds your attention. If it does not, then it is not supposed to be there. If you have sentences that are long and unwinding, however much time you spent writing it, you have to let it go. Editing is meant to make your document succinct.
- Do not edit out your voice
Do not lose your tone due to editing services. If you have paid someone to editing your work, ensure that they understand your voice. If you are doing it by yourself, it won’t hurt to take some time off between the stages of editing to remind yourself of the main attributes of your voice that differentiates you from the rest. You have to maintain this uniqueness even if you are editing.
- Eliminate clichés
Any phrases you have heard and read often, you have to delete them from your document. If you want to have a crucial meaning in your test, you have many ways of doing it. You can come up with your own metaphor or a new phrase. The idea is to own the writing.
Editing also takes place at these levels:
With editing services, you ascertain that you have done everything required of you in the assignment. Ascertain if your claims are correct and find out if your paper makes an argument. It helps in finding out if your argument is complete and the claims are consistent. You have to establish if you have supported every point with enough evidence. With editing, you have to ensure that the information in your paper aligns with the requirement of the assignment and the overall writing objective.
- Overall structure
When you are editing your document or using professional editing services, you have to check on the overall structure. Check to see if your paper has an appropriate introduction and conclusion. Find out if your thesis is made clear in the introduction. You also check on the clarity of your paragraphs in relation to your thesis statement. When editing, you have to ascertain that your paragraphs follow a logical order. Check on the transitions between paragraphs. You can do this by making a reverse outline once you have finished with the first draft.
- Paragraph structure
Identify if the paragraphs have clear topic sentences. Find out if the paragraphs are discussing respective ideas. In other words, each paragraph should revolve around a single idea that relates to the central idea. Check for any missing sentences or information in any of your paragraphs.
Check to see if you have provided the definitions for any important terms that are unclear to the audience. Their meaning should be clear and so should the sentences be. You can do this by reading each sentence at a time, starting from the end so that you will unconsciously fill in the contents from the prevision sentences. Each pronoun should be clear in what they are refereeing to. Choose the appropriate words to express your ideas and avoid using words that you find in thesaurus that are not part of your normal vocabulary.
While you are editing your work or when using editing services, check to see if you have used the appropriate tone, gendered language, and words that are incorrectly assumed to apply to only one gender. For instance, many people think ‘nurse’ refers to a woman. Check to see if you have used varied sentence length. Is your passive voice too much? Is there unnecessary phrasing like ‘there is’?
Ascertain that you have cited all quits, paraphrases and ideas from other sources. Makes sure that your citations are within the guidelines of the format you have used.
As you edit in all these levels, you will make significant changes to the contents and wording of your document. You have to be on the lookout for pattern of errors, knowing the kind of problems you tend to have especially if it involves editing a large document. Once you identify the pattern, develop some techniques you can use to use to spot and correct these mistakes in the future.
The difference between editing and proofreading
Editing and proofreading tend to be used interchangeably but in actual sense, they are different. Both of them attend to the detail and are done when you are satisfied with whatever you are saying in your document.
Proofreading takes corrects mistakes that relate to superficial errors like grammar, syntax, punctuation, formatting and spelling. This process is the last thing that takes place before the paper is submitted for publication or to the instructor if it is a class assignment.
Editing or editing services involve a detailed process that examines how the information and ideas have been presented. Editing includes all the steps in proofreading, but its focus is making the article easier to read and understand. It also checks on the organization of the document to make it more suitable for the audience. Editing is an essential part of the writing process and formulating a research argument. As such, it occurs multiple times as opposed to proofreading which only takes place once.
However, while proofreading is an integral part of the writing process and comes last, it only focuses on superficial errors. Editing ensure that poor language does not make your paper rejected by a journal, irrespective of whether or not you are using professional editing services. Get your article corrected by a professional editor if need be. This will allow the audience to focus on the details of your paper instead of your language skills. Editing also enables your paper to perform its purpose effectively by communicating clearly. If you are looking forward to publish your work, you have to factor in edit as an independent process.