After they see Of Is and By copy edits and tracked changes, writers often ask, how do you do that? What is your thought process? That was a big challenge: how to codify something that had been largely intuitive. So here — from Of Is and By: How to be a better writer overnight — is Chapter 4, “How to edit your own work.” #copywriting #humberpr
Look for the words Of Is and By (obviously).
- Can you use apostrophes instead of ‘of?’
- Introduce a comma clause instead of ‘is?’
- Are there passive voices where ‘by’ can be eliminated?
- Are there word repeats? Even different forms of the same word or verb.
- Can you find redundancies? Words like ‘brutal murder’ (all murders are brutal).
- Is the sentence too long? Would a period between two parts help?
- Are there throwaway clauses? Words that are necessary but only add a detail in addition to the main point?
- Can you eliminate ‘to for and on?’
- Discounts to Lululemon stores—Lululemon store discounts
- The effect on the environment—environmental effect
- Dependent on manufacturing—manufacturing dependent
- Are the ‘it and they’ references correct?—institutions are it, people are they.
- Do the words ‘located in’ or ‘headquartered in’ exist in the sentence?
- The crisis in Washington—the Washington crisis
- Headquarters in New York – New York headquarters
Is the meaning absolutely clear so that any reader will understand what you are saying?