Whether you are an amateur writer or an already established one, we suppose that you have already mastered the English language. However, being a good writer is not only about making your work understandable; it is way more complicated.
Surprisingly, outstanding writing skills are more about editing. First, you put your words on the paper. Usually, most writers do it quickly, in a creative outburst. Then they spend far more time polishing their work, adding or cutting some things out.
You can learn how to write well enough, but there are hardly any self-editing courses. More than just proofreading, good editing improves the clarity and forcefulness of your work.
Self-editing also helps you detect obvious mistakes like grammatical or spelling errors.
Submitting an article packed with errors is immensely unprofessional. Thus, make sure to always proofread the final version of your copy. There are numerous editing tips you can use to make sure your work is flawless. We have chosen some of the most efficient that will definitely improve your editing experience.
- Read in reverse. Instead of reading your work from the very beginning, try reading backward. This proofreading trick bypasses your brain’s tendency to fill in what it expects to see. Thus, you will be able to find mistakes you might otherwise gloss over. However, this doesn’t work with pieces of writing where the idea is perceived from phrases and word order. In this case, try reading in reverse, sentence by sentence to save coherence.
- Sleep on it. Writers rarely splutter their best piece of work on the first try. Drafts serve to hash your thoughts out on paper. So, after producing the first copy, it is nice to wait for a while. This way, your mind will be clear, and all false mental connections will be gone, and you will be able to edit your work with fresh eyes.
- Avoid elegant variations. This tip has to do with the content. The term “elegant variation” appeared thanks to usage commentator Henry Watson Fowler. It refers to the excessive use of rare or poetic synonyms for more common words. “Elegant variation” is considered to be ironic, as it usually feels overwrought. Therefore, next time you’ll want to avoid repeating, don’t try too hard. It might be engaging to a certain degree, however, really easy to overdo.
- Ditch Empty Filler Words: Filler words or grammar expletives tend to weaken your writing. Thus, it would be a wise decision to avoid watering down your writing with excessive wording that simply shifts the focus from the main point. Common examples of filler words include unnecessary adverbs like just or basically, and grammar constructions like it won’t, it takes, here is, etc. You will greatly benefit from training yourself to cut out such expletives in order to make your writing more straight-to-the-point.
- Don’t be too fancy. Some writers tend to use stuffy words that sound more complicated. But instead of getting the point across, such words are often confusing for a reader. If a reader needs to find a dictionary to read an article (of course if you are not submitting it to a scientific journal), your writing can use some improvement. The English language is considered to be one of the richest languages in terms of the expansiveness of its vocabulary. It’s better to find a simpler or more common word than jargon or fancy one – luckily you have a lot to choose from.
- Paragraphing is crucial. Most writers overlook the importance of paragraphing. Long and never-ending paragraphs confuse the reader and dilute your writing. To grasp any reader’s interest, try dividing your passage into small paragraphs.
Also, bullet points help to make your content scannable: they grab the attention of the audience and make them read on. While editing, make sure that all of your paragraphs are short enough, however, remain coherent.
- Know your tells: You can be an experienced writer, but you can still have the tendency to build sentences in a stylistically disadvantageous way or use repetitive vocabulary. The more you edit, the more you acknowledge your tells, as well as the more merciless you are to cut them out from your draft.
So let’s say, “allow to” combination plagues your writing, forcing you to overuse this phrase within one copy. But once you look for it during revisions, you are able to fix it.
(Tip: If you are unable to catch it yourself, Google Doc’s search function can help you out. You’ll find any word, hence you can fix this problem.)
- Refine your content: If you are writing for a blog or online magazine, you will need tools to take your content to another level. Packing your piece of work with big data can be challenging unless you use some useful resources:
Every writer knows that adhering to a deadline is key when it comes to professionalism and having non-negotiable deadlines on content is crucial to be consistent.
- Make use of big data. Even if you are developing a small blog, you can still enjoy the benefits of its resources. One of the principal search engine ranking components is backlinks. These are basically “votes” from other websites. They have a positive effect on your site’s ranking position. The more you include, the higher your site will show up in Google, Bing, and other searchers.
But not all backlinks work wonders. The most valuable ones are quality backlinks.
“A detailed and well-worked link building campaign will help you reach Top 10 in Google, Bing, Yahoo, AOL, and 500+ other search engines. A smart link building strategy can easily bring in +30,000 visitors/mo within the first 3-6 months”
– assures Ben Poitras, a Quality Assurance Manager.
Proper backlinks can assist anyone in drawing in more organic traffic to a website, upscale, and boost earnings.
So the best tips for better writing are based on simple principles. It’s important to follow each step in the process of editing very carefully. The main idea here is to double-check everything and work with different tools that ease the process.