- Reread, reread, and reread. To effectively edit your own writing, you should take the time to read through it several times. Try looking for different, specific types of errors each read-through. Focus on sentence structure one time, word use the next, and spelling and punctuation the next.
- Edit a hard copy. It's incredible what a difference it makes in how effective your editing can be to see what you wrote on a piece of paper. Print out your document and read it to catch errors you might have missed on the computer.
- Take a break and read it again. Sometimes the best way to edit your work is to take a break from it. This allows your brain to rest and gives you the ability to approach your piece in a fresh way. How you write and what you write often depends on your mood and surroundings; changing it up by taking a break can do wonders on identifying errors.
- Have someone else read it. This isn't really editing your own work, but it can be very helpful! Have a friend or someone who is good at the technicalities of writing read through it to see if he or she can pinpoint errors you missed.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Editing Tip: Four Ways to Edit Your Own Work
Editing my own writing is by far the hardest editing I do; it's so much easier to fill in missing words or accept muddy ideas in my writing because I already know what I'm trying to say—I don't have to figure it out from only what's on paper. So to make sure my writing says exactly what's in my head, I usually do one of the following.