Successful Writing : Editing

Previous Page

You show your good manners as a writer when you edit carefully.

Editing sharpens your writings. Professional writers who want to make a good impression on their readers discipline themselves to edit their writing carefully. And careful editing does take discipline. It’s tedious to go over a piece of writing line by line, consider word choice, eliminate repletion, verify spelling and take care of other picky details. But when a lot depends on a piece of wiring you’re submitting, careful editing can make a difference. Leave yourself enough time to work through the necessary steps systematically

Some Guidelines for Editing :

Review Any Specifications.

Check Details for Accuracy and Consistency.

Check for Awkwardly Repeated Words.

Check for The Most Common Errors.

Check Your Spelling And Run A Spell Checker.

Consider The Way Your Writing Looks.


We believe that it’s most efficient to work from a printed copy at this stage - it’s too easy to overlook lapses and inconsistencies when you’re scrolling copy up a on a screen. And if you can, get another reader to look over your work particularly if the document is important to you. That fresh eye can often spot mistakes or omissions that you may not see when you’re reading something for the third or fourth time.

For Practice :

• Trade drafts of a paper you’re working on with someone else in your class. Edit your partner’s paper following the suggestions in this chapter. After you’re finished, sit down with him or her and compare notes on what you did. Look in particular for things you did with his or her draft that are different in important ways from what you would do with one of your own. Look also for things your partner did with your paper that are different from what you would have done with your own paper. Take some time to think about any such differences and what they might mean.

• It’s hard to draw a hard – and – fast line between revising and editing. One fairly common definition is that revising is something you have to do for your own writing yourself (although other can certertainly give advice), while editing is something that’s relatively easy for someone to do for someone else’s writing. Think back on your own experiences as a writer (and presumably as an editor of your own writing) – what are your strengths as an editor and what are your weaknesses? Be prepared to discuss what those are.

• One of the oldest and most respected newsletters for professional editors is The Editorial Eye from EEI communications in Alexandria - Virginia. Articles from their past issues are available free on Check out this web site and read two or three articles that look appealing to you.

Successful Writing Index

From Editing to HOME PAGE