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Writing and Editing: What Is the Difference?

Things to Look for When Editing

  • Look for spelling and capitalization errors that your editing software may have missed.
  • Punctuation can make a big impact on how your paper flows. It creates a rhythm that can completely make or break a paper.
  • Fact-check yourself. Did you cite your quotes and sources properly?
  • Don’t be afraid to let a friend or colleague look at it with unfamiliar eyes. Sometimes you know your material so well that your brain automatically fills in blanks or sees what you meant, rather than what you said. Someone seeing the work for the first time might catch things you didn’t.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Writing and Editing: What Is the Difference?

Writing and Editing: What Is the Difference?

https://www.thoughtco.com/difference-between-revising-and-editing-3974530

thoughtco.com

4

Key Ideas

Revising a paper

Revision starts once you have a finished first draft of your paper. As you reread what you have written, you might notice a few places where the wording does not seem to flow quite as well as the rest of your work. You may decide to change a few words or add a sentence or two. Work through your arguments and make sure you have evidence to back them up. This is also the time to make sure you have established a thesis and have kept your focus on that throughout your paper. 

Tips for Revision

  • Give yourself time between writing the first draft and looking at it again for revision. A few hours can give you enough time to see it with fresh eyes that are more likely to spot trouble areas.
  • Read your paper out loud. Sometimes speaking the words helps you get a better feel for the flow of a paper.
  • Do not worry about the editing yet. Get the big ideas down and leave the details for later.
  • Make sure your paper is organized in a logical way. Make your thesis statement and follow it up with arguments, quotes, and evidence in a way that makes your purpose clear.

Editing a paper

It happens once you have a draft you are confident in as a whole. In this process, you are going to look for the details that may have slipped by you during the writing process. Spelling errors are often caught by spellcheck but do not trust this tool to catch everything. Word usage is also a common problem to catch in editing. Is there a word you use repetitively? Or did you write there when you meant their? Details like this seem small on an individual basis, but as they pile up they can distract your reader. 

Things to Look for When Editing

  • Look for spelling and capitalization errors that your editing software may have missed.
  • Punctuation can make a big impact on how your paper flows. It creates a rhythm that can completely make or break a paper.
  • Fact-check yourself. Did you cite your quotes and sources properly?
  • Don’t be afraid to let a friend or colleague look at it with unfamiliar eyes. Sometimes you know your material so well that your brain automatically fills in blanks or sees what you meant, rather than what you said. Someone seeing the work for the first time might catch things you didn’t.

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The first draft

The first words you write are the first draft. Writing is thinking. You'll rarely know what exactly you want to say when you start writing.

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Common errors

Most writing mistakes are widespread, but good writers just get better at spotting them. Some things you'll learn to watch for are:

  • Overuse of jargon and business-speak, like "utilize" or "endeavor" instead of "use" or "try."
  • Clichés are stale phrases that have lost their impact and novelty through overuse. If you are used to seeing it in print, don't use it.
  • The passive voice. The subject of the sentence should be the person or thing taking action, not the thing being acted on. "Harry wrote this article," is better than "This article was written by Harry."
  • Rambling. When you are not sure what you want to say, it is easy to phrase it in three or four different ways. A single concise sentence is generally better.

Give it some space

When you write something, you get very close to it. It is nearly impossible to distance yourself from it straight away to edit properly.

The longer you can leave a draft before editing, the better. Half an hour to two days is enough of a break to edit well. When you do edit, read your work out loud. You'll catch more problems and get a better feel for how everything flows.

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Writing is Deliberate

Choosing the words to describe your work means you’re doing it on purpose. 

You’re going on the record as someone who thinks about why they do what they do, and understands how each decision affects the results. And developing this knack for critical thinking will also make you better at what you do.

Effective writing

Effective writing is not about grammar, punctuation, and spelling. It is about hitting your mark.

  • Effective writing is clear and has only one interpretation.
  • Effecti...

Writing as a tool

Writing is a way of communicating. When you use clear, credible and persuasive language, you don't have to worry about a beautiful sentence or fancy words.

  • If you are not clear from the start, you will end up wasting a lot of time clarifying your message. Aim to get it right from the start.
  • You can write the wrong thing that will land you up in an argument. If you didn't mean it that way, don't write it that way. Write what you mean.
  • Ineffective writing can cause lost opportunities.