Editing Tips

Editing Tips

By: admin
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Writing for the web is different than writing an academic or research paper for school. Here are some useful tips and tricks for online writing and editing.

Things to consider before you start writing:

  • "Why should I read this?" Make connections to the readers by explaining why the information you're providing is important to them. Consider and discuss briefly in your writing how readers would benefit from reading your article (i.e. improve their work-related skills, help their career job searches, etc.)
  • Inverted pyramid: when you write, think of an inverted pyramid where you get to the most important point (aka. your conclusion) in your 1-2 paragraphs and expand upon it in the remaining paragraphs
  • Quotes: if you can, add quotes from the organizations, employers, volunteers, etc. you are writing about because quotes put a personal twist on the information you're providing, which makes your article more interesting

Things to consider when editing:

  • Introduction: try to keep your introduction short but interesting and thought-provoking enough to draw people in and keep them reading
  • Read it out loud: this will help you identify any awkward or run-on sentences that may only make sense to you but not to others
  • Read it slowly: be careful that your eyes don't miss subtle errors like spellings that spell checker doesn't help you identify, such as "one" and "on"
  • Sleep on it: if you wrote an article today, you may want to wait for at least a day before editing it because we make logical errors in our writing that only make sense to us at the time, whether it's an idea or argument. When you come back to your article with a clear mind, though, those mental connections you have while writing are gone, and you're more likely to see what is really written on the page
  • Be concise: people usually scan instead of reading the entire article unless they're really interested in the topic. This means you need to be concise with your writing by avoiding wordy, lengthy sentences and "flowery" language (i.e. metaphors, academic or professional jargons that most readers may not understand). Aim for short, to-the-point paragraphs by removing redundant, repetitive words or sentences that do not add value to your writing.
  • Active voice: using the first and second person perspective can make your writing more engaging and personal and less academic. For example: "I recommend that you…" (active) vs. "Recommendations were made…" (passive)
  • Headings, bullets & numbers: using headings, bullets or numbers provides structure and will help your readers read more quickly and easily
  • Double-check everything: check your facts, figures, or names, such as the name of a company or employer, year, etc., and make sure that they are all accurate
  • Hyperlinks: links allow readers to get more information from other pages, so hyperlink them wherever necessary (i.e. OLC)
  • Images: try to include 1-3 images relevant to the topic you're writing about as visuals will tend to draw people in

 

Posted on September 29, 2011