If you are like most writers who are serious about their craft and about getting published, you probably want to make sure that the manuscript you send to a publisher is the very best it can be. Whether it is an academic work on the feeding habits of arthropods or the latest and greatest romance novel, there are resources you can use to help finalize your manuscript.

One tip to help you get started editing your work is to get away from your manuscript for at least 24 hours before you begin reading back over it to find and correct mistakes and to make clarifications. That will help ensure that you are reading your manuscript with a fresh eye.

While you are reading over your manuscript, it is to your benefit to use the “Spelling and Grammar Check” feature under the “Review” tab of Microsoft Word. This feature will help you find spelling and grammatical errors that you might have missed otherwise. By left-clicking on this feature, you may set your preferences under the “Proofing” section.

Keep in mind that using this automatic check on your paper will help you find some errors, but you always have to keep the context of your words and your intended meaning in mind when judging whether or not to make the corrections this feature suggests. In other words, sometimes it’s wrong. After all, you are the author, and you know what you meant to say.  Nevertheless, this is a good starting point.

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The First Edit – Reference Information

Online databases are also useful resources to consult when writing and editing your manuscript. The three websites below, for example, will provide you with excellent reference information about writing, grammar, and research.

libraryguides.oglethorpe.edu – This site contains the complex rules, as well as sample papers, for multiple types of research. Also documentation styles, including MLA, APA, and CSE.

grammar.ccc.comment/grammar – This well-organized and detailed website contains pull-down menus that thoroughly cover rules and examples of grammar usage. Also writing help, such as punctuation, sentence structure, paragraph organization, use of examples, etc.

owl.english.purdue.edu – This very helpful online resource includes lots of information. Besides having useful and detailed facts about grammar and research, it is full of extremely practical instructional information about various types of writing, such as technical, creative, academic, and job search. The educational section includes pertinent facts and tips for writing in diverse subject areas.

After you have edited your manuscript, it is then time to have a professional editor perfect your writing meticulously—before sending your manuscript off to be published. It is in your best interest to use the services of a professional editor.

Remember that professional help for your writing is available at FirstEditing.com for only pennies per word, or a couple of dollars per page.

Originally Posted 12/28/2010 and happily updated 10/21/2017. Thanks for reading!

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