Step One:Just walk away • We all know that when we’re too close to things, we don’t see them clearly. This can be good for relationships, but hazardous for the editing process. • Thats why you need to get a little distance. So after you wrote your paragraph, set away from the computer to clear your head.
Step Two:Imagine you’re not you. Instead, imagine you’re the intended audience reading your document for the first time. The big questions you want to answer here are: – Does it make sense? Would the reader understand what you’re trying to say? – Does it hold your interest from start to finish? – Does it include all the information you need (e.g., important numbers, facts, or events)?
Step Three:Is your writing FAT? Here are three ways to lose the fat: – Avoid long sentences: If any are longer than 25 words or so, consider turning them into two sentences or removing any unnecessary words. – Slim down the words: Replace long words and phrases with short ones. In other words, why say “ascertain the location of” when you can just say “find”? – Remember that black flatters figures, but white flatters writing: Nothing is more daunting to a reader than a dense block of text. So you add some breathing room with white space between paragraphs, bold subheads and (where appropriate) bullet points.
Step Four:Listen to your high schoolEnglish teacher Actually, your writing is not the same as the writing of your old English teacher. Here are a few major points we can all agree on: – Good writing is error-free. This means perfect spelling and no typos. • Check for the correct use of homonyms like "to/too/two", "their/they’re/there", etc. Spell checker doesn’t always make those distinctions. • Confirm you’ve spelled all names correctly. This mistake can be particularly embarrassing. – Good writing avoids the energy-draining passive voice. Write "Bob threw the ball". Not "The ball was thrown by Bob". – Good writing is formatted correctly. Check your margins, use of spacing and consistency in style of headings — font, bold or not bold, capitalization, etc.
Step Five:Now clean it up and read itagain. Out loud. After you’ve made your editing (don’t edit onscreen!), print your document and read it again. If you’re in a crowded office, whisper instead, but don’t skip this step. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll catch. http://www.bloger.com/5-steps-for-editing-your-own-writing.htm