Writing and editing are two processes that are bound very tightly. And if you want to make your writing better and to become a professional writer, you need to learn how to edit your own texts. There is no editor in the world who can edit your work better than you. Of course, if you are familiar with the basics of editing and the most important self-editing tips. But if you are not, just look at them in this article.
What should you know about editing?
If you have to learn to edit your texts, first of all, you should understand the main mistakes which are made by many writers. After that, you should find out in which way you can fix or correct these mistakes. Study the common rules and use the next self-editing tips and you will not have any problems with writing.
- Read a lot of good texts
Read a lot and you will feel the difference soon. Learn from professionals. See how they think, how they write, how they express their thoughts and which language style they use. Reading will allow you find and develop your own unique style.
- Weasel words: find and destroy
Weasel words don’t make your English better, especially if you are a writer. Make a short list of common grammar and other mistakes, including phrases, adverbs, etc. Check your articles for these words every time.
- Don’t use long sentences
Even if your long sentences are correct, they often are too hard for the readers. They contain several points or ideas, and the people may lose the focus. Please do not strain your reader unless you write about some philosophical problems. Give every your idea in a new sentence.
- Use the positive instead of the negative
Remember that it’s better to use ‘it is’ instead of ‘it isn’t.' There is no doubt that it looks more simple. If there any way to replace a negative form with a positive, do it.
- Read your texts aloud
It is a great method to notice flaws or mistakes which you have made while writing the article. You can read your texts by yourself or use a computer software. It will make your writing better, and your essay, article or book review will be perfect.
- Avoid extra punctuation
In fact, a text which is littered with all kinds of existing punctuation will look congested and complex. It will not flow well, and the reader may leave it ‘in the middle of the path.' You can eliminate unnecessary extra punctuation with the help of cutting a sentence.
- Eliminate passive constructions as much as possible
Passive constructions can also make your piece of writing hard to understand. If you use such constructions as “it was” the reader will think about what exactly do you mean using the word “it.” It’s much better to use strong nouns and verbs which will make your writing work persuasive.
- Reduce using of prepositions
Prepositions are quite helpful in many cases. But there are sentences in which they don’t really help. They just make sentences long and boring because they demand many words around them. In some cases, a preposition or a prepositional phrase can be replaced by the writer with one direct word. Never miss this opportunity to make your text more concise and capacious.
So these self-editing tips are the main among a great number of points which can help you to strengthen your writing. Follow them and get some practice regularly and soon you will see that your writing skills are the envy of novice writers. If you still don't feel confident with different writing tasks get professional help.