Academic editing: An integral part of the publishing process
Manuscript editing allows the author to correct grammatical, spelling, punctuation, and syntax errors in writing. The editing process refers to improving the language quality of a document to make the content readable and easy to comprehend. Many authors may believe that editing is just correcting common grammar errors, but it is much more than that. You need to structure your paper if you want to publish your research in a reputed journal. You need to learn how to communicate the meaning intended while maintaining logic and clarity. Here is a checklist to help you present your ideas effectively:
- Maintain a logical structure throughout the manuscript
- Adhere to the journal’s guidelines and formatting style
- Ensure that the headings and sub-headings match the content
- Provide evidence to support your arguments
- Use active voice wherever required
- Keep the sentences short and simple
- Use simple words and phrases
- Provide adequate background information
- Summarize the key information briefly
Editing plan: Creating an effective editing plan will help you review the drafts one by one. To maintain a logical and cohesive flow throughout the manuscript, you need to identify duplication, redundant words, and unnecessary words. Think about reviewing an entire section or chapter instead of proofreading and editing your paper at a paragraph level. Five editing techniques are given below:
- While reviewing the article ensure that the text communicates what you intended to do and what you did in the research. Remember the content should be clear, concise, and logical. The given evidence should be strong enough to support your claims and thesis statement. Focus on explaining the aim and purpose of your research because it will help you adopt a structured approach to edit the article. Include the basic elements that explain your research in great detail. Think about what exactly you want to convey with your research. You need to ensure that you provide logical reasoning to support your thesis.
- Read the text aloud to identify any repetitive words or phrases in the sentences, paragraphs, and sections to avoid confusion. For example, instead of writing “during the month of September,” you can write “in September.” You can write “consider” instead of “think about.” You also need to review the grammar for the excessive use of articles, abbreviations, colloquialism, and slang. Remove unnecessary words without changing the intended meaning. Use simple and plain language so that your reader will be able to understand the manuscript. The research context should support the main argument.
- Maintaining consistency throughout can pose a huge challenge, especially for new authors. Check the use of verb tense in the paper; it should be the same throughout a section. Check whether or not you are writing in third person or first person. Review the formatting guidelines provided by the journal. The word count needs to be consistent in all the sections. Along with checking the referencing style, you need to check the paper for labeling and numbering tables, diagrams, and figures.
- Signposting helps in structuring and highlighting the important points and parts of the research argument. It is like a summary describing what the readers can expect from the section and what is it about. Signposting helps in introducing the topic to the readers and also makes the content logical. It describes the settings and circumstances under which the data was collected and interpreted.
- Proofread your paper thoroughly and review the details and key points. Adopt a more structured approach to focus on the problem area. Identify the common spelling and grammatical errors you often tend to make. Make a list of typical errors, as it will help you form a proofreading strategy to save your time. Look for abbreviations, spelling errors, spacing issues, inappropriate changes of tense, formatting issues, and referencing style changes. Follow one formatting style that is accurate and consistent.