EDIT YOUR WORK IN THREE STAGES

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

 

Unknown-4.jpeg

Stage One

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).

 

images-1.jpeg

Stage Two

  • 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

Stage Three

  • 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?

 

 

 

Author: rotmanprwriter

PRWriter, Copy Doctor, Humber College PR and writing Prof

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s