Good write-ups do not solely depend on the writers’ ability, but also on the editors’ and proofreaders’ skills. Writers can use all the successful writing tips for different kinds of writing. However, as they often perform their own editing and proofreading, they would benefit from some vital strategies for effectively accomplishing these tasks, including cutting down redundant words and phrases, refining sentence structure, etc. They can also use various software tools, apply the backward editing pattern, read a hard copy of the write-up, etc.
In this post, these strategies are explained in detail. So, read further to find out more about these tips.
6 strategies to consider when proofreading and editing your write-ups
1. Eliminate all Too ManySuperfluous Words
When assigned a professional writing job, the goal is keeping things brief and straightforward, as any unnecessary wording would detract from your main message. Thus, when editing and proofreading your write-up, always cut down on too many words. This is particular to remove all expressions that don’t contribute any significant meaning to the point you are making.
2. Check the Sentence Structure and Flow
A proper sentence should contain a verb and a subject, as it may otherwise be misinterpreted. So, look closely at every sentence and make sure that it is appropriately structured and punctuated. You might have to read through every line to do this right.
3. Using Software Tools
Increasingly, software tools are used for proofreading and editing, as they have become highly sophisticated. Using Grammark, Wordrake, Grammarly, etc. makes it easy to effect the necessary changes you wish to see in your writing jobs.
You can start by using CTRL+F which will allow you to easily find repeated words and make the necessary corrections. Moreover, search engines can offer some word alternatives to replace frequently used words. To confirm your progress, you may also need to compare your work with professional standard writings with Draftable.
I also recommend a tool called text-to-speech, as it allows you to hear your writing and gain a better impression of how it would sound to a reader. According to research, hearing audio of a write-up allows you to improve your choice of words. However, it is not particularly effective for correcting grammatical blunders.
4. The Backward Editing Pattern
The backward editing pattern is another effective editing practice you can use when proofreading. As its name suggests, it involves editing from the end of the write-up and working your way to the top. The idea here is to isolate the mind from the content meaning and flow and focus on the sentence structure.
Reading from behind is like simultaneously engaging both editing and revising skills. This practice helps you spot errors easily, thereby making your proofreading task more efficient and the outcome more accurate.
5. Edit a Hardcopy of the Write-up
Reading from a phone or computer screen for too long can be tiring, and can make you miss some glaring typos. That is why you should always edit and proofread a hard copy of your document. This strategy also allows you to properly sequence the pages and ensure uniform layout.
6. Take Some Time Off
Proofreading and editing one’s work is difficult, as the familiarity with the content makes it less likely that you will spot any mistakes. This is especially challenging if you have spent ample hours, days, or even weeks on the job. If this is the case, you might need to take a break and engage in other activities to clear your mind. Waiting until the next day before commencing the editing task is preferable, but even a few hours of rest will help.
Although ample advice on effective proofreading and editing can be found online, the above tips are the most commonly used amongst professional proofreaders and editors. You might also find them effective for your editing tasks.