Editing is an important part of any writing process and if done properly can transform a mediocre content into a great one. Poorly presented articles reflect a lack of confidence and one might end up forming a negative first impression. Some writers underestimate the value of editing but having sent the drafts without any prior checking is not a good idea. You should use Grammarly for error-free writing.
While not most of the writers are unwilling to hire a proofreader, some edit their articles themselves or with the help of the available online tools. Generating content is one thing and editing it is another. Both require a set of skills which if mastered can give birth to fantastic content. After having written the content, there are certain tips to keep in mind while editing one’s own articles.
Best Tips for Editing Written Articles:
1. Give your writing some break
One experiences a sense of joy after having completed an article. This sense of relaxation should not be ruined by starting to edit the article immediately. In other words, take a break and leave some amount of space between the completion of the article and its proofreading. This break helps in relaxing the mind so that next time when you look at your article, you are able to spot the errors automatically.
2. Use an appropriate writing tool
It is not necessary to be an expert for editing content. Having started your editing journey, some kind of guidance is essential. This help can be sought from the different writing tools such as Grammarly, Ginger or Whitesmoke. This software is free and easily accessible which help in identifying the grammatical mistakes and also corrects them. Not only this, but some also evaluate the writing styles of the content and provide suggestions to edit. Availability of such tools serves as a great help to the writers.
3. Keep in mind the audience
Before writing or even editing, one should always keep in mind the audience which is addressed. Depending upon the kind of readers, the writing style should be decided. Furthermore, the choice of words should also be done keeping in mind the ones who will read the article. Using more examples and a simpler tone of writing is advisable for contents targeted to the common people or in some cases children. Likewise, using more references and technical terms is suggested for any formal content.
4. Don’t make the article monotonous
One might not pay any heed to the choice of words while writing. This is where the importance of editing arises. While proofreading the content, one might come across words which are repetitive and sentences which are too long. This would make the article sound monotonous and boring. Thus using synonyms and shorter sentences would help in grabbing more attention from the readers and make the articles interesting.
5. Eliminate filler words
Making the sentences long unnecessarily and adding words to it makes it more complex. While editing one should keep in mind to avoid such a mistake. Avoiding ‘filler’ words such as ‘there’, ‘here’ that lengthen the size of the article are of no use. Rather the usage of such redundant words and phrases weaken the strength of the content. This furthermore diverts the focus of the readers to something more useful.
6. Read it out loud
There is a difference in writing an article and listening to it. One often might find out more mistakes in his content while he hears his article out loud, as compared to simply reading it. Listening to it helps in recognizing the rhythm and tone of writing. The flow of words and it’s meaning if understood smoothly while listening to the content reflects the accuracy of the content. Likewise, any stammering in between gives a check of the poorly constructed sentences which need improvement.
7. Avoid uncertain language
An article is a writer’s piece of work which highlights a great deal about the author’s life as well. Using phrases such as ‘seem to be’ or ‘could be for a reason’ depict the indecisiveness of the writer. Furthermore, it also undermines the authoritativeness of the writer making the content look weak and submissive. Thus, usage of such phrases which depict uncertainty should be avoided.
Getting an editor hired is always the easiest way to get the content edited, but why hire someone if you can do the work yourself. Besides, since you are creating the content yourself, you would have a better understanding of the tone and purpose of the content.
This would help in editing while keeping intact the personal touch in the article. Being a good editor is not an easy task. By having knowledge about the above tips and suggestions, one might start his own editing journey. Self-editing is the best kind of editing. It might seem a bit difficult at first, but gradually it will make you aware of your own writing strengths and weaknesses, thereby improving your editing skills.