Once you have completed your revision process, it’s time to turn your attention to editing, which is no easy task! Perhaps you have seen this image on the right on the internet or in your inbox. Chances are you can read this, which should give you an idea of how great our brains are at reading right through errors. And that can make editing really tough.
When you edit, you must look closely at your writing, as it’s easy to miss small mistakes that can have a big impact on how others view your work.
Editing is about finding sentence-level errors, which can come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes, we make errors because we do not know the rules. Sometimes, we make errors because we are in a hurry. Sometimes, we just make errors.
- Good editing takes time and many passes. You cannot catch all of your errors in one quick pass.
- Try reading your paper in reverse, from the last sentence to the first sentence. Our brains are really good and reading right through errors, so if we slow ourselves down by reading in reverse, we can catch more errors.
- Use your grammar and spell checker, even a resource like Grammarly if you have access to it, but don’t trust any of these resources blindly. All of them miss errors, so you have to be responsible for catching your own errors.
- Use this editing checklist to help you remember best practices for good editing strategies.