Editing is the process removing inconsistencies and mistakes in a paper to make it clearer for your target audience. Editing is a process in writing that requires one to use his or her creative skills to make a piece error free. The most common use of editing skills is in writing books when a writer appoints an editor to help in detecting and eliminating mistakes that may lead to message misinterpretation if not corrected.
No matter the type of experience and expertise a writer has, there is a very little chance that the first draft will be well polished with clear sentences and paragraph structure. A writer can choose to writer and edit his or her work. Consequently, he or she may decide to use a third eye to help with the editing process. The process involves fine-tuning the paper to be the best with no to minimum errors. Thus, writers often write, read and reread their papers until they feel it meets the preset requirements. Failure to edit a paper especially for students may lead to lower grades.
After one id done with the editing process, the final process is proofreading before submission. Proofreading does not include changing the paper’s content. In this stage, one checks for spelling mistakes and punctuation errors. At this point, the content written is already satisfactory. Some people might use Proofreader Marks in this last stage as discussed here .
Writing beginners often find it hard to differentiate between editing and proofreading. The terms are often used interchangeably hence the questions risen as to whether they mean the same thing. The simple answer to this is that the two vocabularies have different meaning in writing. To help you better understand; below are the differences between the two terms;
|1||Checks on the quality of content||Makes the already quality write up error free|
|2||Involves several steps/process||Only one process involves (This is the final process before submission)|
|3||Takes time||Does not take time|
|4||Done on the first draft of a write up||Done on the final copy of a write up|
|5||Involves sentence and paragraph structure checking||Involves eliminating grammatical and punctuation errors|
One might ask why editing and proofreading is nowadays offered as a service because it seems to be a very simple task. For a one-page paper that will be, a lot easy but imagine writing a 60 page research paper for your master’s project, which you will need to make several revisions before the final submission. Writing alone is tedious and you would not want to fail your course for missing a few mistakes that you probably did not see because the paper has become monotonous in your sight. So when should you opt to include a third party to help you? For editing you will need a third eye if:
1. You have just completed your first draft and you are not sure of whether your content is up to standard.
2. You are a new student and you are not sure of your level of expertise in the language of your study.
3. You want the best feedback for your write up.
You will need proofreading services if:
1. You are already done with the editing face and you are in need of a final eye that will help you eliminate grammatical errors such as spelling and punctuation errors.
In case you are looking for these services, it is essential to note that editing and proofreading are two different facets in the revision process and you may be charged separately. However, there are editing companies that offer the two services as a package. I would advocate for this kind of service, as it will be easier to keep track of changes.
Tips That Will Help You as You Navigate through the Editing and Proofreading Process (they are helpful for both beginners and experts)
If possible, Edit and Proofread in a quiet place. Ensure that you are in place with minimum distractions to help you concentrate on the paper. Keep your phone away and your dictionary close in case you will need it for adjustments purposes. It is okay to use the dictionary at this stage. Do not feel intimidated. It is normal!
It can be overwhelming to edit a twenty-page paper. Hence the need to divide the paper into manageable chunks. Depending on the amount of time you have you can choose to do one section take a break then do the next. This way your mind will be alert each time you review a section.
This will make sense in the editing process. You can start with the content revision. In this stage, you can integrate new ideas that you feel will help strengthen the paper. After you are done with the content, you can proceed to sentence and paragraph structure to ensure that there is information coherency throughout the paper.
After you have just finished writing the paper, find an activity that keep you distracted from the paper a bit before the editing and proofreading process. If you delve into the paper immediately, you are likely to ignore most mistakes as to you the paper will look the same. Clearing your head will make you more alert. Where applicable you can ask your friend or colleague to help you edit and proofread the paper. This is the most appropriate method, as the paper will be looked at with a fresh set of eyes. Better yet, you can find these services at your disposal on the internet at a manageable fee.
In case you were using your computer to write, you can print out the write up. This way you can knot down where changes need to be made on paper before you make change in your soft copy. Another technique you can employ is changing the font style and size of the paper. This will bring a different perspective to the paper. You will be looking at the paper as a new document. Feel free choose whatever method works for you at a given time.
In this technique, you can choose you read your paper backwards focusing your attention to the errors and typos in the paper. As you read aloud, do not make the changes until you are done reading the whole paper/section depending on whether you divided the paper prior. You can mark mistakes with a different colour, underline or write comments. First identify then make changes later.
1. Natives-English speakers mostly need editing services. These people usually have a hard time understand the complexities of the English language. In case they are students who write essays and other academic related works, editing services will be the best investment in ensuring that their papers are of great quality.
2. Book writers also need to have an editor who will go through their work to review, find mistakes and eliminate them. Publications need to be of the best quality and as we all know almost every market has competition. If an author is striving to be the best, then it is advisable that they go for editing services to help them reveal mistakes that they may not be able to see if they did the job themselves.
3. Proofreading and editing is also importance in the business set up where important documents such as contracts need to be of very high quality and containing minimal to no errors. Most companies/institutions need error-free documents that have undergone several stages of editing and finally proofread by a professional.
For the editing process to yield the best results, components need to be reviewed and edited separately and one at a time. Some of the level of editing include:
1. Paragraph Structure. Essays require that a paragraph begins with a topic sentence followed by a few supporting arguments and concludes with a transition to the next idea. In the editing process, this can be checked among other mistakes such as whether there is information missing in the paragraph. This level also entails reviewing sentence structures. That is, the information flow and readability.
2. Overall essay/paper structure. Check whether the whole paper follows an essay format. That is, an introduction, at least three body paragraphs and a conclusion. Also, check on whether your thesis statement is clear and easy to comprehend.
3. Citations and references. Check whether the sources used are relevant. To check for relevance, look where the information has been published and the year it was published. Make sure the citations follow the type of formatting style you used. Some of the styles mostly used are APA, MLA and Chicago style.
Editing can be a long process, apart from the three modules; there are other minor modules one can come up with depending on the type of information being accessed. When editing look at it as a revision exercise in which you make adjustments, they are viewed and returned to you for corrections until the desired output is achieved. Feel free to subdivide the levels of editing to subsets that work for you. Remember at the end of the day all that matters is the quality of write up you come up with.
Proofreading follows different techniques. Feel free to experiment with as many techniques at your disposal until you get one that works for you. If you are a beginner and a bit confused, you can use the below processes to help you:
1. Use spelling checking sites but do not over rely on them. These tools are helpful in helping one determine mistakes but keep in mind that some of them have very limited words in their dictionary. As you use them, please go through the document yourself in case there are mistakes that the checker did not highlight.
2. Highlight punctuation marks. This process will help you check all punctuation marks for mistakes.
3. Backward reading. This is another process for checking spelling mistakes. Read every word separately from the last page going upward to the first word in the document.
4. Read every word carefully and slowly. Your aim in proofreading is to come up with an error free paper. Read slowly to ensure that your goal is met by not skipping any word. Remember you are skimming through the paper you are proofreading!
5. Ignorance has consequences. The results of ignorance will not make you an exemplary proofreader. Pay attention to detail and in case of doubt always check up in the internet or use a dictionary. Consequently, you can ask your colleague. For instance, if you are not sure of whether to use which or that, please ask for help. There are many sources available for clarity purposes.
Editing and proofreading is a skill that is perfected over time. If you are starting out, be patient you will become a pro within no time. Increase efficiency by constantly practicing and maintaining a positive mindset. With consistency, you will develop your idea of finding errors and ways to improve editing and proofreading.
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