person writing editing or proofreading

10 Tips for Better Writing

Want to improve your writing? Here are 10 tips that will help you do just that. Whether you’re writing a PhD thesis, a blog post or a business report you’ll be able to up the quality of your work.

1. Put the document aside and come back to it later

Take a break. Close the Word doc and do something else for a while. When you return to writing or editing you’ll find that you’re more focused and more objective. Concentration is key, especially when editing and proofreading, and if you find your eyes start glazing over a bit it’s best to take a break.

Make sure you budget enough time so that you can properly edit.

2. Don’t write and edit at the same time

Write first and edit later. When you’re writing don’t worry about spelling or style. These things can be fixed up later during the editing process. Writing, especially writing first drafts, is all about getting ideas down on paper. You can shape and form these ideas later.

3. Don’t edit and edit and edit and edit and edit and…

Put the document down, son. We all know that feeling of never being quite satisfied with written work and constantly fiddling with it as a consequence. You have to let it go.

4. No clichés. They’re a fate worse than death

This one’s an oldie but a goodie. Editors get a bee in their bonnets about clichés and you can bet your bottom dollar they’ll have a bone to pick with you if they spot any.

It’s better to be safe than sorry. Blaze a new trail and avoid clichés.

5. Proofread on paper. Edit on the screen

It can be hard to catch our typos while reading on a screen. It’s best to do hardcore proofreading using a hard copy. Errors are easier to pick up.

6. Proofread footnotes too

If you’re working on a Masters or PhD thesis, don’t neglect your footnotes. Pay attention to format and style according to the relevant style guide. Also, try increasing the font size on your footnotes for proofreading purposes. It will make them easier to read.

7. Get rid of wordiness

Once you’ve finished a first draft, read it and ruthlessly cut any unnecessary words or phrases. Here are some common words or phrases that should be revised or just deleted:

  • ‘Due to the fact that’ — use’ because’
  • ‘For the purpose of’ — use ‘to + verb’
  • ‘In the even that’ — use ‘if’
  • ‘In order to’ — use ‘to’
  • ‘certainly’, ‘absolutely’, ‘definitely’, ‘completely’ — delete
  • ‘very’, ‘even’ ‘just’, ‘really’ — delete

8. Use short sentences

The only exception to this rule is if you’re David Foster Wallace. I guarantee you’re not so limit sentences to 15 to 20 words. The occasional long sentence is fine but don’t make a habit of it.

9. Make your writing specific

Instead of writing ‘John was a nice man’, tell the reader what it was about John that made him nice. Readers like concrete details and writing in generalities does not add a lot or engage the reader as much as specific facts.

10. Use headings

Headings are are key organisational tool, especially if you’re writing academic, non-fiction or business documents. No one wants to read a mass of text. Headings break up the document and give the reader an idea of what you’re going to talk about and where you’re going to talk about it.

 

ebook editing proofreading

Hire an ebook Editor

The internet is full of content. It’s constantly pushed in front of us in the form of blogs, tweets, comments, posts and articles. Why will your ebook stand out? And why should a reader pay to read what you wrote?

Readers rely on credibility when determining the value of written work. They won’t slog through subpar content or writing in the hopes of finding something interesting or valuable and subpar content does not equal credibility. An ebook editor builds and ensures the credibility and profressionalism of your written work. Publishing a book is difficult as it is and this is why editing is so essential to your book’s success.

Expert writing skills

For first time ebook writers an ebook editor is essential. The ability write well is something that takes time to develop and a less experienced writer is guaranteed to benefit from the suggestions and advice of a more experienced ebook editor. Also, ebook editors can give you advice not only about spelling, grammar and punctuation, but also the more creative aspects of writing such as organisational structure, flow and tone of the writing.

Professionalism is key

Your writing is an extension of your brand. If written work is awkward, sloppy or unclear it reflects poorly on the author and the authority of your brand. An ebook editor can ensure that your ideas are expressed clearly and succinctly. If the writing is good, the author or the company will look like the professional organisation that it is.

Engaging a professional editing service can significantly increase the quality of your ebook. It can mean the difference between a successful stand-out publication and becoming part of the internet’s background noise.

rand31 provides editing, proofreading and writing services to clients in Australia and around the world.

The Difference Between Editing and Proofreading

Editing and proofreading are often used interchangeably. However, the two are different in some important ways. This guide sets out the difference between editing and proofreading so that you can better evaluate which one (or both) would suit you best and make an informed choice as to what your require.

What is editing?

Editing is a process that involves improving the quality and clarity of your writing. It focuses on language use and expression and ensures that your writing comes across as natural and suited to the particular discipline, genre or topic your writing falls into. Most importantly, good editing will preserve the author’s individual voice while making changes to the language or style.

What is proofreading?

Proofreading is a process that involves correcting grammatical, spelling, punctuation errors. A professional proofreader is a valuable asset; he or she is methodical and can identify common errors, inconsistent terminology and formatting errors. Proofreading enhances the clarity of your writing because clear writing demands no distracting spelling, grammar or punctuation errors.

Should you choose editing or proofreading?

Editing and proofreading normally come at different stages in the editorial process. Proofreading usually happens right at the end and acts as a ‘final check’ to ensure your manuscript is in perfect form. Editing would occur before proofreading.

Ask yourself: do I like the quality of my writing? If the answer is no then editing would generally be the best alternative. If the answer to the question is yes then proofreading would generally be appropriate instead of editing.

There are some exceptions to these general rules, however. Book authors should generally go for editing rather than proofreading. The traditional publishing market and the self-publishing and e-book markets are so competitive that it’s highly likely your competition has had the benefit of professional editing.

Academic publications can also benefit from editing as it will improve writing quality, the flow of arguments and conformity with style, formatting and footnoting conventions.

Businesses may choose an editing service depending on the level of importance of the document or where the author of the document is not a confident writer or multiple authors have had input to one document.

If you have already received professional editing, are totally confident with your writing or just require a mistake-free document then proofreading would be the appropriate service.

rand31 provides editing, proofreading and writing services to clients in Australia and overseas.