When it comes to editing your content, there are a number of mistakes to watch out for. Content marketing is or should be the cornerstone of any online business. But with so much competition in the majority of industries, it is imperative to provide the best content possible, which calls for meticulous proofreading. Here are a few of the key areas to be wary of.
Verify your spelling, paying close attention to the proper usage of “their,” “there,” and “they’re,” “here,” “here,” and other words. This is crucial if you dictate your work or type up audio files like interviews and other spoken content.
Many grammatical factors need to be taken into account. Sentence structure is first. Keep it brief and straightforward. Online readers tend to scan information rather than read it word for word, so avoid using long, awkward clauses and phrases and excessive punctuation.
losing track of the structure of sentences
You might begin a sentence one way, lose your train of thought, and end it badly. Additionally, you might repeat words if you can no longer remember what you were trying to say. You can get out of your binds by rephrasing your sentences with the aid of a programme like Ginger.
It is important to know whether your subject is singular or plural, so you can match the verb to the subject. This can be especially tricky when the subject is more than one word. Example:
The little girl in the red coat was standing on the corner.
The man and the woman were standing on the corner.
The use of apostrophes
“Its and it’s” and “there and they’re” often cause issues. The apostrophe is a signal that one or more letters have been left out, such as “doesn’t” and “can’t.” In both cases, the middle letter in the word “not” has been left out. “It’s” is therefore “it is,” with the “i” in the word “is” left out. “Its” on the other hand, is a possessive pronoun, which refers to something belonging to “it.”
The cat’s fur = Its fur
The book’s cover = Its cover, as in, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”
Most confusing of all is possessives with an s on the end.
The business’s inventory (this refers to one business).
The businesses’ conference headquarters (this refers to more than one business).
“Your and you’re” are another common source of confusion.
“Your” = it belongs to you, as in “your book.”
“You’re” = “You are,” such as “You’re a great reader.”
Beware of jargon and difficult vocabulary that might be confusing. If in doubt, choose a simpler word or phrase. Use Hemingway to determine the reading level you are writing for and other issues that you need to watch out for when it comes to non-fiction writing. Two of the main ones are:
- Using too many adverbs – These can be considered too flowery, or wasted words
- Using the passive voice – In general, try to write in an active voice. But it can be useful in some cases. Compare:
- “The man stole the masterpiece.”
- “The masterpiece was stolen (by the man).”
In most cases, we will probably not know who stole it, so version one is fine for a news report.
The punctuation becomes more challenging the longer the sentence. Therefore, keep sentences short, or pay special attention to any longer sentences to ensure you don’t leave out anything. Punctuation is a signal to pause, pay attention, and so on. It can also give additional information, such as adding parentheses to give additional information. Example: “She finally answered (after five minutes of silence) that she did not recall what had happened.”
The use of quotation marks, such as when you are providing a direct quote from a source, is another area to watch out for. According to John Smith, the charity’s executive director, who was questioned following the race, “This was the best fundraising run we’ve ever had.” In American English, quotation marks should be enclosed by commas and periods.
Make sure to carefully proofread your work because even seemingly unimportant mistakes can add up.
What are the 5 C’s of editing?
- The initial “C” stands for “Clear.” It implies that the writing ought to be simple to read and comprehend. The message should be effective, clear, and concise, according to the editor.
- Concise: Concise is represented by the second “C.” It implies that the writing should be succinct and direct. Any extraneous words, phrases, or sentences that don’t improve the writing should be cut by the editor.
- Correct is represented by the third “C.” It means that there should be no grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors in the writing. The writing should be accurate and free of mistakes, according to the editor.
- Complete is denoted by the fourth “C.” It implies that all pertinent information and details should be included in the writing. The writing should be thorough and cover all pertinent topics, according to the editor.
- Consistent: Consistent is the fifth “C.” In other words, the writing should be consistent and cohesive throughout the entire document. The writing should have a consistent tone, style, and format, according to the editor.
Do and don’ts in editing?
- Read the entire piece first before making any edits.
- Check for accuracy, clarity, and coherence in the writing.
- Edit for the intended audience.
- Ensure that the writing is free from any grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors.
- Use active voice whenever possible.
- Keep the author’s tone and voice intact while making necessary edits.
- Make sure the writing flows logically and smoothly.
- Use concise and clear language.
- Be respectful and constructive in your feedback.
- Don’t rush the editing process.
- Don’t ignore the author’s intended tone or voice.
- Don’t make unnecessary changes.
- Don’t forget to fact-check and research if necessary.
- Don’t be overly critical or harsh in your feedback.
- Don’t be afraid to ask the author questions to clarify their meaning or intent.
- Don’t forget to check for consistency in language and style throughout the piece.