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Old 21st June 2007, 03:11 PM   #1
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Default The Top Ten Checklist To Edit Your Own Writing

Some tips on editing your work.

"Aim for compelling, clear copy. Write for the 8-10th grade reader. Always think "What's in it for them?" Your reader wants to get to the heart of your book chapter, article, or Web copy fast. While a short story is fine, make all you write clear and easy to read. That's what makes readers finish a chapter and want to read more. That's what makes the web visitor stay with your site more than 10 seconds."

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Any tips you can add?

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Old 29th June 2007, 03:21 PM   #2
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These are very simplistic guidelines that are only suited to one particular audience. The author has clumped all forms of writing into one. Books, articles, web copy... it's not all the same. All audiences are not the same. The goal of the writing for various pieces is not the same.

For instance:

Make all of your sentences short.
I disagree. Sentence length should vary to keep interest. If you're writing to an audience that reads at a grade-school level (author mentions this later) then, yes, write with short sentences. But corporate CEOs are going to think you're patronizing them if you write in all short sentences. They don't communicate that way.

Aim for compelling, clear copy.

Write for the 8-10th grade reader.
Only if your target audience reads at this level. Not all do.

Your reader wants to get to the heart of your book chapter, article, or Web copy fast.
Not always. Over 40% of the American population would rather have long copy.

Let go of adverbs. Words like very, suddenly, and sparingly that tell instead of show. People want to see and feel and don't pay much attention to adverbs. Use adverbs only at Christmas.
I disagree. Adjectives and adverbs are excellent for building interest in products and services. Why only at Christmas? People only buy at Christmas?

Use the shortest, most well-known word. Instead of "utilize," try "use." The more syllables in a word, the harder to get the point across. Let go of unneeded adjectives. Instead of "Kathy is a super-intelligent person, you can say "Kathy, a genius, can sell a bikini to an Eskimo."
Again, this assumes every person communicates the same way. This may very well apply to some people, but certainly not to all.

You can't group everyone in to a single category.

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Old 16th July 2007, 10:14 PM   #3
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Those tips are helpful. Sometimes we have to review guidelines that will help us in editing our work. Especially that we do transcriptions and newsletters.


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