Editing and Proofreading are Essential
Editing and proofreading are essential parts of the writing process. They help with the effectiveness of your writing style and clarity of your ideas. Often, students and writers think editing and proofreading are similar processes, but there are very clear distinctions between the two.
Editing means you reread your draft to check for more significant issues, including organisation, paragraph structure, content and so on. But when you proofread, you are focusing on finding and correcting errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation and syntax.
Continuity is another important point. A great example of this is the spelling of names. Reading about Tracey on page 1 then Tracy on page 2, or Mohammed on page 1 then Mohammad on page 2 won’t go down well with many. Similarly, switching between US and UK spellings and English (predominantly grammar) is an important thing to avoid. You need to have consistency in your document throughout in terms of every aspect – spelling, punctuation, syntax, grammar and tone.
Editing is a big task, but it is a skill that you need to learn. There are many aspects to developing this skill, but the points below offer an excellent place to start.
- A clear introduction and conclusion are needed.
- Paragraph structure:
- You need to include clear transitions between paragraphs.
- Each paragraph needs a topic sentence to introduce its central idea.
- Main idea:
- A clear, focused thesis statement is needed.
- The main ideas need to be supported by clear evidence.
- Providing definitions and evidence when needed can improve the clarity of your manuscript and ideas.
- Look for repetition of words, sentence structure and the correct usage of technical terms.
After you edit your paper, proofreading it with a more focused eye will help you find errors and make the necessary revisions to improve the manuscript. Just like editing, proofreading requires a systematic approach.
- Take your time:
- If you think you will find all the errors on the first read, you are mistaken.
- Reading the manuscript out loud can help slow down the process and increase your focus.
- Divide the manuscript into sections:
- This will increase your focus and decrease the overwhelming feeling of tackling the entire manuscript in one read.
- Highlight common errors:
- This helps with current and future writing assignments. The more familiar you are with your mistakes, the easier it will be to avoid them in the future.
Other Areas to Focus On
Editing and proofreading helps you become a better writer overall. This will also help you with your use of language and writing style. For example, in a thesis, you want to make sure you use a formal tone. Avoid using the passive voice, including phrases like “I feel” or “I think”.
One area that is also overlooked in a manuscript is the use of tables and figures to present your research findings. This is especially important in scientific writing because tables and figures are essential in giving the reader a chance to interpret and visualize data.
Tables are used for the reader to understand the data without referring to the text. You want to make sure your tables include the following:
- A clear title;
- Clear column headings;
- A defined body of data; and
- A key/legend and footnotes or references when necessary.
Figures present data in a visual format: photos, charts, graphs, diagrams, etc. They give the reader a chance to visualize information that might not be clear in the text. Like tables, figures need to identify the data they convey clearly:
- Captions or titles are needed to introduce the topic;
- Figures should be numbered for easy identification and reference; and
- Choose images that are clear and easy to view.
You may well not be willing to go through all the above processes. If you want to get top-quality editing and proofreading services, all you have to do is contact me through my Contact page above or email me at email@example.com.
I’ll then send you a quote of my price and we can take it from there. For all jobs now, I’ll send you an invoice for half the payment once you send me the document, then send an invoice for the second half once I’ve completed the work.
Once we’ve agreed a price, I will do the work and send the edited document back to you via email. If it’s a big file, via a dropbox, WeTransfer or whatever means you prefer.
You can then pay me either directly through your bank or through PayPal. All my details are on the invoice I will send you. I also have an IBAN and BIC, so international payments can easily be made.
I guarantee you will be happy with the work I do! Any amendments you require I will do at no extra charge. Happy customers are my reason to keep going – which is why I’ve been successful so far.
There’s a lot of positive feedback on my Testimonials page, so please take a look to see their comments on the professional editing and proofreading work I do. There are also reviews on Facebook, Yell, Yelp, Free Index and My Local Services, plus many more sites. I always do my best work when people really need me, so please take a look at the services I offer and get in touch!