Top Ten Tips on effective Editing and Proofreading
Tips on Editing
- Do not refuse to help with editing
If your classmate, colleague, co-worker or relative asks you to check their paper draft, do not refuse to assist. Even when you are overloaded and do not think that you can help because of your own busy schedule, try to find some time and read the draft. The more you edit the better you become at this activity, which means that you will be able to edit your own papers with ease.
- Know the limits and time when to stop your inner editor
Editing requires time and patience. Often, the very first draft is not the perfect one. Some students prefer improving sentence by sentence, crafting every paragraph prior to starting a new one. In case you are fine with such approach, good for you. However, in such cases, the writing process may become eternal, which is why it is recommended to turn off your inner editor and start writing without checking and selecting every word. Do not be afraid of making spelling and grammar mistakes; just let your thoughts lay on paper.
- Now it is time to edit your paper
When you have written your paper, make sure you do the correct editing. In other words, please understand that editing is not limited to correcting typos and removing punctuation mistakes. Editing is improving the story by and making each and every paragraph stronger checking sentence by sentence. After that, you can start proofreading your paper. You can underestimate neither editing nor proofreading. The both processes are important equally. It means that you have to properly edit your paper and on the basis of your editing you can continue with proofreading. If you receive a task to write more complex paper, it is recommended to do a couple of proofs and edits.
- Edit using track changes mode
Old-fashioned writers use paper and pen to edit their work. However, it is more efficient to type your text on the computer and then use track changes mode to find grammatical and spelling mistakes. In addition, there is a low chance of losing your document when you use track change mode since it saves all the changes automatically during the editing process. After the editing, you can reread and check the corrections. Then you are free to accept or cancel them.
- In case you are not confident in some corrections, check them online and you will know what to do
The biggest advantage of every editor is getting to know the unknown. Possessing useful resources is not enough for the editor because an editor has to know how to use them. So stop your procrastination. Pull yourself together and develop your editing skills. Note that every time you try to get to know something, you improve yourself as an editor and develop your academic writing skills. In addition, the more you get to know now, the less you will have to search and learn in future, which will save your precious time. As a result, you will become a professional editor with time.
- Fresh your mind about grammar aspects and format styles by reading the appropriate manuals
Remember that being meticulous is very important during the editing and proofreading process. In case you are not confident about some spelling, grammar or stylistic mistake, your obligation is to consult your grammar manual. That is why it is important to have the necessary recourse. In case you are not sure about formatting style, open your style guide and find the necessary advice.
- Conduct grammar- and spell-check at first
Prior to doing anything, you have to check your paper on any spelling or grammatical mistakes. You can do it manually or use some grammar checking software tool. Remember that automated grammar checkers are not able to find all the mistakes. That is why it is recommended to still check your paper on possible mistakes manually. In order to make the editing process easier, you can apply find-and-check feature. It will definitely save your time. For example, you will be able to correct unnecessary double spaces at one click only. So, now you can see that editing becomes easier when you know how to use your Word program.
- Read the paper slowly and loud
One of the most important aspects of editing and proofreading is checking the paper on all levels (word, sentence and paragraphs). In addition, you have to be able to evaluate the paper on its organization, readability and flow. Speaking in other words, your task is to check the paper as many times as possible. You have to separate the content and assess the very writing, try to read the paper aloud and slowly. You will see that it will help you to find more typos and grammatical mistakes.
- Try to listen to the rhythm and wording
Checking spelling, grammatical and stylistic mistakes is not the only task of editing. You need to pay close attention to the rhythm while reading the paper aloud. Does it sound smooth? Are there short sentences or maybe some of them are too long? Long sentences can lose their rhythm. That is why it is advisable to break up them into shorter sentences and connect the shorter ones. It will make the paper more rhythmic.
- Do not ignore formatting of the paper
Formatting differs from editing. It includes the following aspects: font (its face, size, and any other options like italics or bold), spacing between paragraphs and lines, etc. for instance, title and chapter headings must have same spaces and font. Citations must be formatted as well according to the required style. Try to avoid any inconsistencies while formatting the paper.