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Editing Guidelines for Bloggers

ImageWe all have experienced someone asking us to proofread their paper for school. Even at work, a co-employee could ask us to edit their report for the company. The task is actually a challenging job especially if you don’t know what to be looking for. Believe it or not, there are tips and tricks for editing properly. It also takes practice but eventually, you will get the hang of it and actually enjoy editing your writing.

Familiarize yourself with the subject matter

A great saying to remember before you start editing is “measure twice, cut one.” If you put it in literal words, it means to make sure that your measurements are correct before you cut. Same goes with editing. Before you start getting technical with grammatical errors and what not, make sure you know what the writer is writing about. Try to find out the writer’s voice and tone and keep in mind what the writer’s topic is. Read through the whole document before you cut into it piece by piece so you get what the paper is all about. Explain to the writer what parts he or she could expand and add more details to. Check for grammatical errors and also if the body of the paper makes sense and flows all throughout focusing on the main subject matter.

Look out for Homonyms

This is one of the most common errors of writers. Not many writers go through their paper to check for typos. Many of them use the wrong word to express in a sentence which could really affect what the sentence is trying to say. If you’ve noticed that the writer has used a couple words in the wrong content, make sure to note it down and to alert the writer. Look all throughout the paper and notice all the places where the writer made this mistake.

Stick to one style of writing

When you read through someone else’s paper, make sure you notice their style in writing. For example, if the writer is referring to “e-mail” and types it out with a hyphen, he or she could make sure that they use a hyphen all throughout the article. There really is no right or wrong answer, but it should be consistent all throughout the writer’s paper.

Do more research if needed

Basically, don’t have the writer guess around with their information. If you feel like there is part of the paper that may be wrong, ask the writer what they really meant. They might have had a typo and just didn’t’ notice or they could of just guessed. Make sure to remind the writer not to guess around with vital information because it could result giving false information to their readers. Suggest that they find out before they finalize their paper.

Be careful with the changes

One of the best secrets to editing is know what to change and knowing what to leave alone. Do keep in mind that it is NOT your paper and you are just editing it for someone else. Even if you feel like changing a sentence or omitting a whole chunk of the paper, consider what the writer’s voice and tone is because they may think very differently than you. Think of the following questions: Who is the writer? Who is the paper intended for? What is the writer’s purpose for writing this?

Editing a paper could be a difficult task for many people, but once you get the basic tips and have had practice before it does get easier. As an editor, you enhance your skills in proofreading while the writer has a more polished and improved paper because of you.

image:editor's tools/shutterstock 

Join The Conversation

  • Aug 12 Posted 3 years ago Louise_adam

    I apologize in advance for posting this publically but I was unable to locate a contact e-mail for the author. I am not a grammar nazi and I normally don't comment on online articles such as this. However, given the subject matter and the fact that the author's note states that a commercial editing service was used, I just have to say that you were ripped off! The piece sounds like it was written by a non-native English speaker and is riddled with many basic errors. I have nothing against non-native speakers; indeed, if that were the case here, it wouldn't be a bad job, but it's an article ABOUT the importance of using an editor and it desperately needs just that!

    Please contact me offline if you would like a thorough edit of this piece. And please stop using the so-called professional editing service. In the opinion of this professional editor, you're not getting anywhere close to "perfect."


  • Aug 6 Posted 3 years ago territorioclasi...

    Those tips could also apply for outsourcing writing. I should admit, we have try outsourcing writing as an experiment (we do not have a blog yet), to see if it could be an option for us. At the end, we realised that, even if we could get a good gohst writer, the style, the ideas expressed, the knowledge about an specifc topyc, etc, needs an extensive editing, in the way you just described.

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