When you are done writing something, it might look as if the job is done and the content is ready for submission.
But…this is usually not the case.
Proofreading and editing written content is very important. There are a lot of things that writers can overlook or miss when writing content the first time around. The resultant errors have to be detected and removed afterward in the editing phase.
In this article, we are going to be looking at the importance of editing and how you can do it properly.
Why is editing important?
During the editing phase, there are different types of errors and mistakes that you can find and remove from your content. To help you understand the importance of editing, we’ll discuss some of these errors and mistakes next.
a. Grammar errors
Grammar errors are the most basic yet frequent mistakes that can occur in content. They’re made by everyone, whether we’re talking about a seasoned veteran or a rookie writer.
Some of the common grammar errors that writers are prone to make include:
- Misuse of comma
- Misuse of colon and semi-colon
- Misunderstanding “a” and “an”
- Improper sentence fragmenting
- Dangling and squinting modifiers
Editing your content after writing it is important since it allows you to eliminate these types of grammatical errors and mistakes. Once your content is grammatically perfect, it can look like a professional piece of work rather than a haphazard rookie job.
During the editing phase, using an online grammar checker to find these types of errors can be a good idea.
b. Readability issues
Readability issues can occur when the content contains some sort of improper word selections or if the sentences happen to be too short or too long, much like this atrocity we’ve embarked on.
Editing your content can also be beneficial in this regard. It can help you remove readability issues from your content, which can help in improving its overall quality.
Normally, readability issues can get fixed if you just rephrase the sentence or passage in question in a better way, i.e., by using the right words or by rearranging them, etc. However, if you find it hard to do this on your own, you can have an online tool handle it for you. You can easily find high-quality paraphrasing tools on the Internet.
c. Spelling errors
Just as grammatical errors are ubiquitous, the same goes for spelling errors. A single letter can result in an error, due to which these types of spelling mistakes are somewhat ubiquitous.
Nowadays, the commonly used word processing software and text editors usually have an in-built spell checker. These spell checkers highlight the issues as they are made, and they also provide correct suggestions for them as well.
But, even then, spelling mistakes can still be made, due to which reading and editing the content after writing it is necessary.
Tips to Properly Edit Your Content
Now let’s talk about some tips that you can follow to properly edit your content.
1. Don’t do it right away
This is quite a handy tip, and it’s actually not something you’d expect to hear. Normally, it would make sense to encourage people to do their work as quickly as possible, but in the case of editing, it’s the opposite.
If you read and edit your content immediately after writing it, you won’t be able to find most of the issues in it. This is because the content will be fresh in your memory, and you will have a good idea about where the different sentences and passages are arranged.
Due to this fact, and the fact that you’ll know the meaning of the text itself, you can just flit over the words and sentences without reading them properly. This can, consequently, lead to you overlooking a lot of errors without stopping to correct them.
To reset your mental familiarity with the content, you can simply give start reading it after some time, i.e., after an hour or half an hour.
2. Specify the errors you need to look for
Naturally, you can’t actively force yourself to ignore certain errors when editing your content. However, what we mean by this tip is that you should keep your eyes peeled for specific types of errors instead of looking to find them all at once.
For example, the first time you decide to read and edit your content, you should focus on fixing grammar errors. The second time you decide to do it, you can go for spelling errors. And the third time you decide to do it, you can go for readability issues..
Doing this has multiple benefits.
- Firstly, it helps in making the editing process a lot more extensive and in-depth. When you do separate runs for different types of errors, you can give the content a thorough wringing.
- Secondly, it helps you in finding the specific types of errors more effectively. When your focus is on, say, finding grammar errors or spelling errors, you can be more attentive toward them as compared to other imperfections. This can make the editing process more effective.
3. Ensure that the changes you make are in line with the original meaning and intent
So, when you proofread your content after leaving it for a while, chances are that you can get a little out of touch with the topic. It is for this reason that you may end up making such changes to the text that may not align with the original intent/context.
Therefore, when you want to make any sort of change to the content, you should see whether it is appropriate for the topic or not.
Editing content is a necessary step that even experienced writers can’t forego. In this post, we’ve looked at some tips that you can follow to ensure that the editing process goes smoothly. We hope you learned something new here.
And now, let us go back and edit this post before we send it in…