Editing: Guidelines to follow when editing your research paper.

Editing/Author/Author Assists/Tips/publishing/Academic/Research
Editing: Guidelines to follow when editing your research paper.

Editing: Guidelines to follow when editing your research paper.

Editing is a fundamental part of the writing process that involves an editor making corrections and polishing the text. It is crucial to enhance the overall quality of the content by making necessary corrections in spelling, grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation in order to present the written text not only in an accurate and clear manner but also as comprehensive and impactful as possible.

Extensive editing entails modifying the style, structure and substance of the text suitable for the targeted audience.

Editing is essential before processing a draft for proofreading. It is a foundational step that helps to prepare a text for further enhancements required before publishing.

Here are a few steps to help authors and researchers to edit their drafts at home.

  • 1. Use proper structure
  • 2. Avoid using lengthy sentences
  • 3. Keep a check on the paragraph length
  • 4. Read your text aloud and backward
  • 5. Check for spelling errors
  • 6. Punctuation marks
  • 7. Stick to simple language
1. Use proper structure

The first important step before getting into editing the text is checking the structure of your content to make sure there is a natural flow of information. Make sure that the transition of points from one paragraph to the other is cohesive. The structure will decide the overall presentation of your draft. Make it a priority to maintain the flow in the structure for your points to remain interlinked.

2. Avoid using lengthy sentences

One way of making your points impactful is by cutting short the length of your sentences. Even if a lengthy sentence makes total sense, try to describe or explain in shorter sentences. The length of the sentence helps in sustaining the attention of the reader and makes it easier and faster to comprehend. Long sentences can break the focus from one sentence to the other. It is common practice in scholarly writing to keep sentences short and to the point.

3. Keep a check on the paragraph length

Effective use of paragraphs is crucial in defining the presentation of your draft. It’s not just an effective way of making your paper look neat and attractive but it also helps in motivating the reader to read. Lengthy paragraphs can tire the reader from continuing to read. The shorter paragraph gives a higher sense of progression to a reader, mentally motivating them to delve further.

4. Read your text aloud and backward

After completing the above steps, make sure that you read the content aloud to ascertain how it sounds and try reading it backward. This technique will help break the natural way of reading that could result in skipping, thus bridging the eye-brain gaps in reading correctly.

5. Check for spelling errors

The easiest way to check for spelling errors is to use a spellchecker or a third-party application. Make use of the technology available. It will not only help in speeding up the editing process but also help you identify the spelling errors you usually tend to miss out.

6. Punctuation mark

Pay close attention to punctuations, especially the ever-present commas. The role of punctuations in writing is substantial, for pause, emphasis, clarity, the exact meaning and purpose of the sentence. Punctuation marks include end-periods, commas, colons/semicolons, hyphens, dashes, quotation marks, question marks, etc. Misplaced and inconsistent use of punctuation marks can confuse the reader. Try not to use exclamation marks as it is not an accepted element in scholarly writing.

7. Stick to simple language

Try to cut down the usage of complicated terms and jargon that are not generally understood by regular people. Complicated terms can affect the reader’s concentration and break immersion. Work to sound professional and matter of fact, rather than sophisticated. Keep the content clear and simple as well as easy to understand in a single read-through. It’s not a good idea to obligate readers to check the dictionary now and then while they are reading your study.

Tips and suggestions:
1. Create a checklist on the things you want to edit first.
2. Follow the pattern on your list and edit each section one by one and not all in one go.
3. Avoid using passive voice, replace passive with active.
4. Avail third-party professional editing services.
Relevant weblinks:

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *