At one time or another we all have to edit our work. Whether it’s a paper due tomorrow, business proposal, or manuscript. At some point and time we’ve had to make some changes. Not the greatest at editing? Never fear, here are five secrets to editing your work!
- Take a break- In the wise words of Eliza Hamilton: “Take a break.“. Taking a break is helpful to the editing process because it allows your mind to refresh. This gives you knew perspective and view point. By giving yourself new perspective you are often able to catch other mistakes or some much needed highlight content gold. Just don’t forget to come back, and actually finish the process.
- Individualize your work- Individualize your work by breaking your work into bite sized pieces. Read it slowly sentence by sentence and check for errors or awkward wording. Then read it paragraph by paragraph. Once you have done these steps read the whole thing as one piece. This well help you break down your work to see what is necessary, if it flows, and if something needs to be rearranged.
- Write it out- Unsure of what stays and what goes? Write it out on paper the good ole fashioned way. By writing it on paper you can better compare and tangibly see the difference in each concept or thought process. It’s also a lot of fun and rewarding when you can physically mark something up to denote change.
- Read out loud- Reading aloud is beneficial because it will show you the readability of the material. When we read in our minds we have a tendency to artificially “fix” things which cause us to forgo the mistakes we’ve made. To take it one step further read it out loud to yourself and then read it to a friend for a second opinion.
- Use a thesaurus- It’s 2016 people. Use a thesaurus. Instead of using “excited” try searching for synonyms on thesaurus.com. This will freshen up your work and set it apart from mundane words that every other simpleton uses. However, don’t get crazy and go back to Old English. Surely an addition to your vocabulary won’t kill you, and it’s not all bad with the ladies. *wink wink, nod nod*
I hope these tips were helpful! Want more? Head over to my consulting page here for assistance.