A document without editing is like a sculpture without finishing touches. Until and unless editing is done, the copy does not become a great piece of writing that is worthy of reading. Now, many people wonder, “how can I edit my paper?”. The editing process is not easy and does require a few skills. But, it is not impossible for an individual to learn this technique. By learning about the different stages involved in the process and constant practice, anybody can master the art of editing a document.
The process to follow when one feels the dilemma “how to edit my paper?”
- Going through the copy- The process of editing starts with reading the text thoroughly. It is done not only in the beginning but throughout the process. The best way to find out imperfections in the document is to read it again and again. While reading, one must try to understand the core of the paper, the intention of the document, and what has already been included in it.
- Copyediting or proofreading- At this stage, the finer details like the grammar, spelling, typing, linguistic errors etc. can be checked. A great way to carry this out is to look for the common mistakes that one makes. It may be punctuation errors, or capitalization or anything else. To detect spelling mistakes accurately, the backward reading technique can be used. In this technique, the text is read from backward so, the spelling errors catch the eye more as the focus shifts from the context of the sentence to that specific word’s spelling. Along with this, passive voices can be removed or reduced and use of transitional sentence, use of unclear references must be checked.
- Checking the facts used in the paper- The document must contain many facts and figures in it. To do this, the copy can be checked alongside the original information. From dates to names to research results, everything must be double checked. Also, the sources must also be examined.
- Examining the clarity- The document must be comprehensible for the readers. So, it must be checked if each sentence is making sense. For this, the context or the core topic of the paper must be consulted. All the information used must be relevant to the main idea. There must be a smooth transition between two paragraphs so that, the information flows from the previous point to the next one. Along with this, it should also be checked whether all the points have been explained clearly, all the required information has been presented, and all the questions have been answered or not.
- Scrutinizing the references– The document must contain properly cited references in it. It must be examined if all the sources used in the paper has been cited or not, if the instructed referencing style has been followed or not etc. Without accurate citation, the document may get considered as being plagiarised and can get rejected.
- Checking the structure and other requirements- It must be checked if the correct structure or format has been used in the document. For different types of papers, different structures are used. So, a general format cannot be used for every document. In the end, the whole copy must be revised to see if all the requirements or criteria have been fulfilled in the paper or not.
So, this is the complete process of editing which is required to make a document impeccable. This time-consuming process has been proven to be very helpful in developing high-quality papers.