Tips for Editing Your Paper

The process of editing

Editing involves improving a piece of writing to make it adhere to a particular style guide for publication. It is the immediate process after drafting that helps in ensuring the paper is well –organized, with smooth transition between paragraphs. Editing can occur on several levels based on the content, structure within paragraphs, overall structure, clarity, style and citations. A person can choose to edit their work using different tools such as the PDF editor.

Types of Editing

Developmental Editing – The process focuses on addressing wider issues within the text are correcting the structure, story and flow. A detailed report outlining issues found in the text is provided at this stage.

Copyediting – The process aims to correct spelling mistakes and other sentence related issues, mainly grammar and typos errors. Tracked comments and changes help carry out copy editing enabling the copy editor to read the manuscript and make corrections and changes.

Proofreading is the last process that takes place when the text is ready for publication and set ready for printing. Proofreading helps ensure no new mistakes are made during typesetting, i.e., preparing the book for publication. The proofreader adds marks to where existing errors have occurred.

Basic Steps of Editing

Reading for Structure – It is the first step to identify the outline your work takes depending on the writing your content covers. Ensure there is an interconnection of ideas for an easy flow of paragraphs.

Reading for Grammar and Punctuation – At this point, you should focus on grammar, word choice, punctuations, spellings, vocabularies etc. The use of vocabularies should depend on your target audience and their relevance to your content.

Take a break –Although this may sound weird, especially if you have deadlines to meet, it is an essential step. Remember, you took hours stuck on that piece of paper, and immediate editing may not provide effective results. Taking a break allows your brain to refocus and reset, thus help in identifying the existing errors.

Reading Aloud Again – It is important to revisit your work by reading the text loudly, as this enables your brain to absorb the information in a new way. Besides, you will feel like another person wrote the work. Alternatively, you can ask a person to read the text aloud as you listen carefully, making effective adjustments and corrections.

Call a Friend – After rereading and feeling satisfied, reach out for someone else to read through your work again. It can be a workmate, friend, mentor etc., to help identify mistakes you may not have spotted. Be positive if your friends point out many errors and areas of improvement. Please do not take it as a criticism; rather, make the necessary adjustment.

Review and Release – It is the last step after correcting the errors your friend identified to ensure the work is perfect. Read through the work again, checking on the paragraph breaks and choices. After ensuring it is perfect, you can send, publish or print the contents.