Tag Archives: techniques to edit texts

Professional Writing Part 3: Efficient Proofreading and Editing

By David Rose

As some of you will already know, I published a two-part series earlier this year outlining the six key principles of ‘Effective Professional Writing’.

Containing a framework of ready-to-use tools to immediately boost the quality of your professional documents, I urge you to read them now if you haven’t done so yet:

Part 1 – Audience, organisation and conciseness

Part 2 – Precision, tone and language

These two articles focus on the before and during of an effective, time-efficient writing process.

Now, logically, it’s time to focus on what follows after you have produced your draft document proofreading and editing.

1. How do most people proofread/edit?

Through absolutely no lack of effort or professionalism, most people’s proofreading and editing is unfortunately time-inefficient and frankly not as comprehensive as it could be.

Consider your own experience…

In all honesty, how many times have you proofread/edited a document, only to discover some errors and inconsistencies of style and clarity after it’s been submitted/published/ sent… i.e. when it’s too late…?

I have a 14-year experience of providing drafting training in the institutional and corporate sectors, as well as providing editing support for ‘key’ external documents e.g. position papers, marketing materials and annual reports.

Throughout these years, I have continued to see a pattern of avoidable errors, inconsistencies of style and lack of clarity in what are intended to be final documents…

Why? Because like consistently high-level writing, consistently comprehensive and time-efficient proofreading and editing is a schematic process rather than a linear, often (slightly) disorganised act, regardless of time constraints.

In a moment, I’m going to present a concrete, schematic procedure for the day-to-day proofreading and editing of your own and/or others’ texts.

First, though, I’d like you to consider a few key questions: Continue reading

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