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A beginner's guide to understanding proofreading. This article gives tips, tricks, and a checklist for new writers who are overwhelmed with the editing process.
Whether you are an author of a juicy novel or a content writer for the Web, learning how to proofread your work is almost as important as the writing itself. When you are working with a large document, it is advisable that you find someone else to do the editing for you, but it is still crucial that you learn how to polish and revise your work before sending it out to agents, publishers, or clients.
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Different types of editing and proofing Many beginners wrongly assume that editing and revising happens by reading your document a couple of times, looking for mistakes and problems. The problem is that it is very difficult to spot all the issues with the work, since the type of concentration you need to identify grammar problems is very different than looking at the story as a whole. Here are the three main categories of editing. There may be more, but most of them can fit under this umbrella.
Development When you revise a document or manuscript, this type of editing looks for holes in your plot. If it is an article, you are looking at the substance. Do the arguments make sense? Is there enough evidence or meat for your topic? With a story, are the characters believable? This type of editing can also involve looking at your book's marketability and target audience.
Grammar With this type of editing, you are looking specifically for awkward phrases, misplaced punctuation, grammar problems, and spelling errors. Sometimes this is called line editing. You are digging deep into the structure of your writing, looking for ways to make each sentence perfect. You also need to make sure your tone is consistent through the whole thing. People who don't pay close attention to point of view changes will notice problems during this phase.
Proofing In this category, your goal is to look for consistency in the formatting of your document. Are all the headings the same size? Indentations, page breaks, and other formatting issues are corrected. Depending on the way you publish (ebook, blog, Word doc, etc.), your formatting may have to adjust. With non-fiction writing, you have to make sure all your images, tables, graphs, and footnotes are properly arranged.
This little adjustment adds style and professionalism to your document or manuscript. Source: Julie DeNeen 2012 Proofreading checklist When it is time to format your document (keep reading to see the writer's editing plan, which recommends that you format and proofread last), do the "scan it" approach. For each line item below, go through the whole document looking at just that one point. Then do it again for each point. This way, you are sure not to miss anything. Check it off when you've reviewed each category. It should go pretty quickly because you are not really reading, but more scanning.
Writing courses are becoming part of many writer’s route to publication. In fact the rise in popularity of writing courses means that writers are overwhelmed with choice. It is now possible to attend traditional writing courses or even join up to a free online writing courses.
Freelancers are always looking for new ways to stay strong in a competitive marketplace. These free courses will improve your writing on many levels and give you the valuable skills you need to grow as a web writer.
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