The ultimate guide to editing and revising – Guest Post

Today an excellent guest post from Sandra Miller over at http://somuchtowritesolittletime.com/Sandra Miller is writer, lives at New York. Two times a year watches Friends sitcom, loves salsa. Uses editing service Help.Plagtracker to write great material. Her passion is Latin American culture.

This topic addresses an area where I have struggled. Maybe you have too?

The ultimate guide to editing and revising

The task of reviewing, editing and revising a document can be really challenging. It is difficult to notice the problems and figure out what changes need to be made. If someone asks you to review and edit a document for them, they may end up unhappy with your revision choices. Becoming a good editor needs hard work and a lot of finesse, but some tips can help you face the task easier.  

1. Homonyms are the most common error

It is not difficult to check your own typos during the writing process, but there are some words and phrases that go unnoticed by the editing radar. The most common mistakes that slip through are wrong words that sound similar to the proper ones. If someone else looks at the piece with a more careful editing eye, they will be able to notice and correct those errors without much effort.

2. Measure twice and cut once!

You have surely heard of the old saying “measure twice and cut once”. Translated into the language of editors, this means to plan carefully before you take any editing action. The best way to work as an editor is to read the writing without making any changes at first. This will help you understand the writer’s tone and voice and make sure to keep their individuality recognizable after the editing is done.

You can also ask the writer for any ideas or suggestions on the editing. Some writers just want their editors to make sure everything is spelled properly, some want the writing to be expanded and others want the editors to ensure that all information is correct.

3. Don’t guess when you need to be informed!

Sometimes you spot a mistake that is obviously wrong, but you cannot think of the right way to correct it without informing yourself more on the issue. If the writing is on a subject that is not your strong side, but you notice some inconsistencies through it, you will have to be sure before you make any changes. You can make notes in the document and contact the writer to ask for an opinion, you can research the Internet or consult someone who can provide you with the proper information.

4. Make style corrections when needed

Sometimes it is inevitable to make certain style corrections. For example, the Associated Press stylebook made an announcement last year that writing “email” is preferred over “e-mail”. However, the New York Times reporters continue to write “e-mail”, since this institution has its own style guide. For some corrections there isn’t a universally right answer because it’s a matter of style. If you don’t have information about the writer’s style guide during the editing process, you should use your (or the writer’s) preferred version, but make sure there is consistency throughout the entire document.

5. Avoid changes based solely on preference

When you have a job to review the work of people who aren’t professional writers, you may fall into the trap of making changes based on your personal opinions and preferences. Your job as a copyeditor is to simply clean up the mess; and you have to make sure not to change the meaning of the original sentences.

For example, your boss would be greatly offended if you changed the entire report without allowing him to take pride in his writing skills. This is the time when you need to make only necessary changes. Sometimes, when your editing radar catches a sentence you don’t like, you should make sure that it is definitely wrong before you change it. Avoid changing the sentences into something that you would write. The writer’s tone and voice has to be considered at all times.

The Chicago Manual of Style has a clear definition on copyediting: it is an “ability to make quick, logical, and defensible decisions.” This means that when you are reviewing someone else’s work, you should stay away from making changes that you cannot defend. The writer knows why he wrote a certain phrase in a certain manner, and if he asks you to defend your changes, you cannot say “according to my preferences”, or “it sounded better to me”.

Editing is not an easy work, but it helps everyone at the end. It makes the writer look more polished and smarter; the reader gets to read a better text and the editor gets to do the job he loves and develop new skills.   

Advertisements
3 comments
  1. Great advice from Sandra! A second pair of eyes is always necessary.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

ultimatemindsettoday

A great WordPress.com site

If I Ruled the World

Vote for me, 2033

PRINCESS KICK-ASS

Jean-Luc Picard.

Martian

Truth is a pain to accept

Archaeodeath

Archaeology, Mortality & Material Culture

The Journal Of Antiquities

Ancient Sites In Great Britain & Southern Ireland

meganelizabethmorales

MANNERS MAKETH MAN, LOST BOYS FAN & PERPETAUL CREATIVITY.

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

Chaos Theory and Pharmacology

A blog dedicated to the study of complex relationships in pharmacology; with a medicolegal perspective. “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.” ― George Orwell | CC-0

Nicholas C. Rossis

Dream-protecting author

tessmadeja

travel, holidays,leisure

SURVIVING THE DOOM

THE REALLY BAD NEWS AGGREGATOR

A Narcissist Writes Letters, To Himself

A Hopefully Formerly Depressed Human Vows To Practice Self-Approval

Publishing Insights

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose / The more things change, the more they stay the same

booksandopinions.com

The Book Reviews You Can Trust!

sheila sea

like thalassic velvet

SIUQUXEBOOKS

Book recommendations,inspirational quotes,blogging and social

ALWAYS INVISIBLE

I just want you to know who I am

Written in ink, not stone

like and follow me!! Thanks for visiting, much appreciated

I didn't have my glasses on....

A trip through life with fingers crossed and eternal optimism.

Eye Will Not Cry

"Eye Fly High"

londonunpublishing

About a process

Attached To Brunei

Born & Bred in the Abode of Peace

summer

I really like Ryan Gosling.

Eric Weiskott

Assistant Professor of English at Boston College

Memoir Notes

a blog for memoir writers

Living Young & Free with God

I speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for those who are crushed in spirit. I speak up for those who are poor in confidence,and see that they may be encouraged to live up their dreams.

Terribly Write

Terrible Writing on the Web. And Writing Terribly Well for the Web

MY TROUBLED MIND

confessions are self-serving

chandleur

Bagatelle

Felicity Johns

This site is rated for MA audiences only.

Caustic Synergy

United and alone in the world

1 SIGFRIDSSON

ON = TIME

KURT★BRINDLEY

writing ★ producing ★ editing

%d bloggers like this: