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Feedback & Communication Report

Ways to Improve your Writing and Editing Skills

Lisa Taylor

on 7 July 2013

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Transcript of Feedback & Communication Report

Ways to Improve your Writing & Editing Skills: AET/541
Lisa A. Taylor
Instructor: Melvin F. Hagan Jr., PhD

One of the most important rules to self-editing successfully is the hardest to apply: Put distance between you and your work. It is best to put it aside for a few hours. So not attempt to edit your own work right away because it is too fresh and you will read what you think you wrote and not what is actually there. Be sure to add this down time into your schedule for turning in the project.

Read as a reader the first time you read through a piece. Ignore mistakes and read for comprehension. this will be hard to do since you will spot your errors. Just keep reading.

Resist the urge to change everything during the first edit making sure to correct only the glaring errors. Make a note in the margin if you are unable to ignore a needed change. You can always make the change later if you choose to do so.
You are ready to edit at this point. Feel free to correct errors, improve language and organization of your piece. Correct typos, spelling, grammar and punctuation. Make sure that you have used the most appropriate words - the biggest or most technical words are seldom the best choices.

Review each line of the piece individually rewriting run-on sentences. Make sure the sentence conveys your intended point. It may be necessary to vary the sentence structure. Using the same noun/verb construct is very boring if used repeatedly.

Read the piece aloud. Reading it will bring it to life and give it energy and help you organize the words. Reading it aloud is the only way to make sure that the words flow smoothly throughout the whole piece. If you stumble over a word or phrase, simply rewrite it.

It is easy to add emphasis to words while writing. For instance you might use italics or exclamation points. But it is best to remove emphasis unless you really mean it. If you have more than few italicized words within your piece, you have probably overused it. Exclamation oints are appropriate only if you mean them.
Be sure to make use of technology and run spelling and grammar check. You can use both of these features more than once but do not rely on these features only because they do not catch every mistake.

Play close attention to the mistake you make repeatedly. Catch phrases or words that you use often. do you have trouble with verb tense or punctuation? Knowing your weaknesses can make it easy to correct you work more thoroughly.
What is your goal? Every piece should have a goal or point. It helps to write a short synopsis before you begin a piece. After editing your work, it should honor the point that you are trying to make. Every sentence and paragraph should support the overall point.

If it is possible, offer to edit the writing of others. The practice will pay off by improving you skills as a writer and an editor.
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