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❶Glad you like it. Jawad Khan Jan 09,

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Revising, Editing and Proofreading
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These sentences have prepositions between the noun sets. Whenever you spot this construction, try to implement this noun-modifying technique. These tips are not magical, mystical, or complicated. In fact, you could consider them downright boring, plain, and inconsequential. Look at is this way: And how about your last post and the one before that? Yes, you can apply these rules to your old posts too!

Or are you one of those writers who think they write well enough already? Read each word of your post. Is the word an expletive? Is it a weak verb? Does it represent nominalization or flab or break any of the other rules mentioned in this post? Run each word of your post through this process. You will find something to improve. But your writing heroes edit, and they land the guest posts, book deals, and exposure you only wish you could.

Kevin Carlton Jan 09, For me, it was the perfect material to break down into bite-size chunks — with something new to look forward to every day. Shane Arthur Jan 09, Writing one editing post is stressful enough! It must be error free after all, right? Ricky Rocco Aug 03, I hate to rain on your parade; BUT, you broke your own rules. Chris Elliz Jan 09, I am planning to use it as a checklist for my editing. Do you know of an actual more comprehensive checklist for editing that we can use?

I appreciate any advice you have on that. Other than that I have resources I like to visit: Shane Arthur Jan 10, John Gardner Jan 09, My son recently completed his PhD in English and he talks like that too. Even the chapter titles; Simplicity, Clutter, Words, Usage — all short. Just the opposite of what my high school students do when writing essays. Thanks for the reminders and suggestions. I have that book. As an extra assignment to all the readers here wanting to test their editing skills, buy this book a book on cutting the clutter and writing well, after all and try to see if you can spot any instances where Zinsser could have cut his own flab.

Mark Brinker Jan 09, I study everything his writes. Shawn Hartwell Jan 09, What a beautiful list of information. Shane Arthur Jan 11, Elke Feuer Jan 09, Glad you found them useful.

Gail F Jan 09, Mario Zeleny Jan 09, Lisa Jan 09, I mean, I knew the general principles and I know the rules about the Oxford comma, too! Like noun modifiers — I DO that, but I never thought about it that way. I want to geek out on this post. It makes me wish I were still teaching writing, because these are all such great ways of explaining why the edits are better and how to apply them to different situations. Cathy Miller Jan 09, This is why you remain my favorite editor, Shane.

I truly appreciate you saying that. And by all means, geek out! Sorry, I put my reply to Lisa on your comment. You know I blush easily! Kelley Jan 09, No soup for you! No worries at all. Tis an honor to be mistaken for Jon Morrow anyhow.

Leanne Regalla Jan 09, But I know there are gaps I need to close. And just think how boring life would be if we already mastered them all and had nothing to strive for. Randy Kepple Jan 09, Reading about doing this is easier than doing it! One of the reasons Stephen King is my favorite writer is because he is the master of the edit. Great tips for creating dynamic content. Implementing the art of the edit will ensure your article is read!

Angela Tague Jan 09, Flashbacks of my high school English class now cloud my mind—in a good way! Am I the only one who enjoyed diagramming sentences and slaying passive voice? I remember getting transferred to an elementary school for one year and the teacher being awful — so much so that when I returned to my regular school a year later, I had forgotten how to read.

Jan 09, This came at a perfect time. I am launching a new website with a blog. Beth Hood Jan 09, Thank you for the fabulous lesson, which I just added to my bookmarks!

How in bleep does that happen! Molly Jan 09, Thanks for the post. As William Strunk Jr. But losing the flab in the second draft is pretty thrilling. For me, that word is like oatmeal, just never agreed with me. Daryl Jan 09, Indeed, even the greatest of writers have to go through multiple edits and drafts in order to come up with a product that clearly and concisely gets the message across to their readers. Usually after I write a post, I spot errors that I have to frantically email the blog owner about.

Peter Baxter Jan 27, Paul Harvie Jan 09, Thank you Shane for this insightful post. Editing tips are underutilized on line.

I have clearly under edited many of my posts. Thank you again, I will be editing my posts much further from now on. Just curious, what did you think of the opening where we used strike-through text.

I wanted people to jump right into the world of edited text to get a feel for what receiving a document with Track Changes from an editor is like. Lina Jan 09, Shane, I just read this and I want to happy-dance. Bookmarking this page right now Thank You! David Horn Jan 09, Talk about illustrating your point — that was great. The strike through text was really powerful … I had a notion as to what the post was going to be about from the good headline, but the strikethrough drove it home. As an editor, I am unqualified to stop you from happy dancing.

Ersan Seer Jan 09, This is a gem of a post. I wish they taught creative writing like this in college. Not sure about what the colleges teach, but wink, wink my affiliate link on the bottom may be of some use to you. Avastabik Jan 09, AwesomelyOZ Jan 09, Great advice though, will use these guidelines for subsequent posts! Jawad Khan Jan 09, In general, I think a lot of the times we need to use certain words or phrases just to create emphasis in our writing.

I agree with that you said. Mitchell Allen Jan 09, Shane, as always, you educate and entertain. Amandah Jan 09, Akshat Jiwan Sharma Jan 09, Very good advice Shane.

After reading this post, I have a strong urge to edit all my previous posts. Your first point in particular gives me much trouble. Some times I detect the use of extraneous words but most of the time they escape and creep into my writing. I disagree with you on 3 however. I feel that sometimes one word substitutions subdue the effect that I am trying to convey.

Always go with what you feel is the best choice for your audience, regardless of what I or anybody else says. Ultimately, we can list guidelines, but you know your writing and your audience best. Dana Jan 09, John Jan 09, Very helpful and clear examples. The more I write, the easier it is to look at my posts for editing and clarity.

Glad to hear that. Before long you will spot certain grammar construction as if you are Neo fighting The Matrix. Tracy Dapp Jan 09, Leigh Shulman Jan 09, I run an online writing group and will be adding this to our editing resources.

Cory Peppler Jan 09, I second the comments about the brilliance of the intro, and the nitty-grittiness of the entire post is refreshing and highly useful. And, yes, I just made up a word while commenting on a post about the English language. Thanks, Shane, for such dedication in creating such a detailed and, no doubt, exhausting post to write and edit. Overbo Jan 09, I am a creative writer as well, have been studying creative writing for years, and I have never seen a better explanation of these rules anywhere else.

Thank you so much. Creating this article added quite a few gray hairs to my head, so replies like your feel great. Hashim Warren Jan 09, I mentioned above that at some point, you will see edits like Neo sees zeros and ones in The Matrix.

Dowell Jan 09, Great primer on concise writing of any kind! As I mentioned above, I have a ton of respect for academic folks specializing in language. Tom Southern Jan 09, Most posts on grammar, style, etc.

Editing your writing should take into account both. Otherwise it loses some of its bite. I love your writing, man! You will be the best judge of what is best for your own writing and audience. Tom Southern Jan 10, Yelena Reese Jan 09, This is definitely going into my favorites. Thanks for sharing your expertise. Without a doubt, an editing pass will improve a blog post. Try it right now. Read each word slowly as if you are a sluggish robot. This will help you not read past each word as you try to spot errors.

As you will see, it. See how that works! Andy Brandt Jan 09, You have come perilously close to breaking a rule for guest bloggers, Shane: Always good to throw in an error to make them look good. David Gillaspie Jan 09, You made me laugh though. Alicia Rades Jan 09, I hope you will strengthen your writing by using less of them. Cathy Miller Jan 23, Donna Jan 09, Great blog — thanks! As I was reading, something struck me. The emphasis should be on the love of the writing itself and not the constraint of word count.

Tom Bentley Jan 09, I think you need to have a slam poetry session with Grammar Girl and record it for posterity. Read the first book. Need to get the second. Lori Ferguson Jan 09, Thx for taking the time to share, Shane! You are most welcome. Krista Low Jan 09, Thank you for the useful edits! Cutting out unnecessary words can be daunting. I just printed out your post for a quick reference. Once these editing tips are under your belt, you can get back to enjoying the good things in life.

Nick Jan 09, Rayne Jan 09, Shane, If you were a baseball pitcher your post was a fastball right down the middle, the pitch everyone swings at but few hit. As long as the writers reading this post are the fans watching the game and not the people trying to hit the ball, because we want them to hit it out of the park! Esther Jan 09, Thank you Shane for clarifying how important editing is. I did not realize that a post was not done until it was edited until I came into the Boost Blog Traffic course.

Ray Jan 09, Flense the flabby words, expunge adverbs and adjectives, tighten your prose and fight for your own brand of punctuation — standard stuff, and sound advice, as far as it goes.

There is a formula of sorts to writing, but that formula should always be framed in terms of principles, and not concretes. Editing and proofing both focus on the sentence level. Editing is different from proofreading because it involves questioning and analyzing sentences, whereas proofreading only involves checking them for error.

Short sentences clearly communicate individual ideas, but often leave connections between them unmade. Long sentences make connections between ideas, but can obscure individual ideas.

Vary sentence lengths according to needs of section. The subject actor , the verb action , and the object what the actor performs the action on constitute the grammatical core of the sentence, but the real subject, verb and object is often buried by complex or elaborate sentence structures. Evaluation of the material was performed on the basis of strength, flexibility, and cost. A revision which fixes both problems might look like the below.

We evaluated the material of the basis of strength, flexibility, and cost. The influence of physiochemical properties of microbial floc, namely extracellular polymeric substances EPS and hydrophobicity, on ultraviolet UV disinfection of sequencing batch reactor effluent was studied.

That means that readers need to store three lines of information in memory until they get to this verb, which gives them the information needed to process the long noun phrase.

This thesis studies the influence of physiochemical properties of microbial floc, namely extracellular polymeric substances EPS and hydrophobicity, on ultraviolet UV disinfection of sequencing batch reactor effluent. Avoid elaborate sentence structure, unless necessary.

Cut away unnecessary phrasing whenever possible. Over people did not like your Facebook page — more than people did. Whenever you modify a noun with more than one word, you need a hyphen. No matter how good of a writer you are, when you sit down to write a first draft, you have a tendency to spit out sentences in a certain way or use certain words. The more familiar you become with editing your own copy, the more quickly you should be able to pick up on your tells. And, the more ruthless you can be to eliminate them from your writing.

But once I knew to look for it during revisions, I was able to correct it. The Write Life thewritelife. This course by Danny Iny will teach you how to write great posts, get them published anywhere you want, and benefit from traffic, reputation and sales. I teach a writing class at the local college and will share these with my students. Thank you for this informative post! It is an excellent tutorial to improve my writing by making it more concise and readable. What a great post!

Use indefinite adjectives with caution. Words like some or any can generally be dropped. Our brain processes language differently when we read out loud, and this is an excellent way to spot mistakes we might otherwise miss. The UNC passive voice link leads to a page. This article and the resource URLs has increased my confidence level. Thanks for sharing these valuable tips with your readers. This is really interesting.

I enjoy learning new grammar rules and learning more concrete ways to engage in writing in order to make it better and stronger. Thanks for these tips! I have been revising and editing my book for a few days now, and reading this post has given me a better way to target my editing efforts. Good luck with your revisions! I hardly thought this topic could make me laugh, but you managed it! Sometimes a prepositional phrases can be replaced with just one more direct word, or cut completely.

Axe the adverbs a. Remove extra punctuation A powerful hyphen here and a thought-provoking semicolon there can be effective. Replace stuffy words with simple ones Some people think jargon makes their writing sound smart, but you know better. Reduce prepositions Though prepositions of, in, to, for, etc.

Make sure you tailor your resume Often you can turn any idea into a tip by adding a verb. Use contractions Which sounds more personable: Hyphenate modifiers Whenever you modify a noun with more than one word, you need a hyphen.

Identify your tells No matter how good of a writer you are, when you sit down to write a first draft, you have a tendency to spit out sentences in a certain way or use certain words. Featured resource Write Like Freddy This course by Danny Iny will teach you how to write great posts, get them published anywhere you want, and benefit from traffic, reputation and sales.

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Although many people use the terms interchangeably, editing and proofreading are two different stages of the revision process. Both demand close and careful reading, but they focus on different aspects of the writing and employ different techniques.

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Editing in Class "A large portion of everyday editing instruction can take place in the first few minutes of class Starting every class period with invitations to notice, combine, imitate, or celebrate is an easy way to make sure editing and writing are done every day.

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Editing involves looking at each sentence carefully, and making sure that it’s well designed and serves its purpose. Proofreading involves checking for grammatical and punctuation errors, spelling mistakes, etc. Proofing is the final stage of the writing process. A. Revision. Copy Editing and Proofreading Symbols Symbol Meaning Example Delete Remove the end fitting. Close up The tolerances are with in the range. Set in italics The book was titled Technical Writing Styles. Set in bold This is the only time we can offer this price.