Edit Your Own Writing with 8 Easy Techniques

By Guest Blogger Sandra Miller, from New York

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Simple Tips for Editing your Own Work

editing

Image by adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Writing doesn’t stop with finishing your first draft. As a matter of fact, you have to go through another tedious process and that is editing your own work. Unlike in major publishing companies where editors are hired to check your content, editing your own work can be difficult.

Editing is the process wherein the writer checks on whether the paper is well-written and organized in terms of content, clarity, overall structure, style and transition of paragraphs. When you edit your own work, here are a few tips which can help as you go through the process.

Tip No. 1. Finish the draft first. As much as possible, avoid editing while you’re writing. Correcting typographical or grammatical errors is okay. But avoid typing, re-reading and deleting sentences or paragraphs unless you’re through with your first draft.

Tip No. 2. Print it. Most of the time, it’s easier to pinpoint mistakes when the work is read in a printed format, or at least read in a different perspective. The important thing is to read your work using a different device aside from your computer to easily spot errors.

Tip No. 3. Edit the Content and Structure first. Editing your own work means re-reading it as a whole, not just on a per sentence basis. Through this, you’ll be able to check easily whether there is missing information or certain sections that need to be deleted or revised. Editing your sentences only comes in once the entire content is polished.

Tip No. 4. Reduce Words Used. Keep in mind that readers don’t like it when the article is too long so if possible, cut down the number of words by at least 10%. Delete superfluous and repetitive phrases and unnecessary adjectives and go straight to the point.

Tip No. 5. Don’t rely too much on spell-checker. Remember that you are smarter than your computer. When checking grammatical, typographical and spelling errors, use your eyes too. There are instances where the spell-checker will pick up on words that are used correctly or will not pinpoint any errors when in fact, there is. So instead of changing everything that the checker suggested, read it out first and see if it makes sense.

Tip No. 6. Read your work slowly. Editing your own work should neither be set aside nor rushed. To determine any mistakes in your work, read through it slowly and out loud. You can even make the font bigger so you don’t have to get intimidated by the number of pages you see on your screen.

Tip No. 7. Take some time off. This is often neglected by most writers. Because of deadlines or other equally important tasks, writers tend to edit immediately so that they can pass their work. That shouldn’t be the case especially when you’re writing a book or novel. When it comes to editing, let your work and your mind rest first before going through it again. In this way, it is easier for you to spot mistakes since your mind is “refreshed.” You won’t notice but it’s a lot easier for you to come up with new ideas and fill in missing facts and information when you start with a refreshed mind.

Tip No. 8. Publish your work. Your work needs to be published eventually. While it’s normal for you to feel less satisfied with your work, when there’s nothing else to be done, let go of it. Your work is meant to be shared, not kept.

Keep these tips in mind when it comes to editing your own work. You might not notice but editing will become a breeze when these guidelines are followed.

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Guest Blogger Bio:

sandra_miller

Sandra Miller is writer, lives in New York. Two times a year watches Friends sitcom, loves salsa. Uses professional editing services to polish writing material. Her passion is Latin American culture.

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