Editing and Proofreading
What this handout is about.
This handout provides some tips and strategies for revising your writing. To give you a chance to practice proofreading, we have left seven errors (three spelling errors, two punctuation errors, and two grammatical errors) in the text of this handout. See if you can spot them!
Is editing the same thing as proofreading?
Not exactly. Although many people use the terms interchangeably, editing and proofreading are two different stages of the revision process. Both demand close and careful reading, but they focus on different aspects of the writing and employ different techniques.
Some tips that apply to both editing and proofreading
- Get some distance from the text! It’s hard to edit or proofread a paper that you’ve just finished writing—it’s still to familiar, and you tend to skip over a lot of errors. Put the paper aside for a few hours, days, or weeks. Go for a run. Take a trip to the beach. Clear your head of what you’ve written so you can take a fresh look at the paper and see what is really on the page. Better yet, give the paper to a friend—you can’t get much more distance than that. Someone who is reading the paper for the first time, comes to it with completely fresh eyes.
- Decide which medium lets you proofread most carefully. Some people like to work right at the computer, while others like to sit back with a printed copy that they can mark up as they read.
- Try changing the look of your document. Altering the size, spacing, color, or style of the text may trick your brain into thinking it’s seeing an unfamiliar document, and that can help you get a different perspective on what you’ve written.
- Find a quiet place to work. Don’t try to do your proofreading in front of the TV or while you’re chugging away on the treadmill. Find a place where you can concentrate and avoid distractions.
- If possible, do your editing and proofreading in several short blocks of time. Your concentration may start to wane if you try to proofread the entire text at one time.
- If you’re short on time, you may wish to prioritize. Make sure that you complete the most important editing and proofreading tasks.
Editing is what you begin doing as soon as you finish your first draft. You reread your draft to see, for example, whether the paper is well-organized, the transitions between paragraphs are smooth, and your evidence really backs up your argument. You can edit on several levels:
Have you done everything the assignment requires? Are the claims you make accurate? If it is required to do so, does your paper make an argument? Is the argument complete? Are all of your claims consistent? Have you supported each point with adequate evidence? Is all of the information in your paper relevant to the assignment and/or your overall writing goal? (For additional tips, see our handouts on understanding assignments and developing an argument .)
Does your paper have an appropriate introduction and conclusion? Is your thesis clearly stated in your introduction? Is it clear how each paragraph in the body of your paper is related to your thesis? Are the paragraphs arranged in a logical sequence? Have you made clear transitions between paragraphs? One way to check the structure of your paper is to make a reverse outline of the paper after you have written the first draft. (See our handouts on introductions , conclusions , thesis statements , and transitions .)
Structure within paragraphs
Does each paragraph have a clear topic sentence? Does each paragraph stick to one main idea? Are there any extraneous or missing sentences in any of your paragraphs? (See our handout on paragraph development .)
Have you defined any important terms that might be unclear to your reader? Is the meaning of each sentence clear? (One way to answer this question is to read your paper one sentence at a time, starting at the end and working backwards so that you will not unconsciously fill in content from previous sentences.) Is it clear what each pronoun (he, she, it, they, which, who, this, etc.) refers to? Have you chosen the proper words to express your ideas? Avoid using words you find in the thesaurus that aren’t part of your normal vocabulary; you may misuse them.
Have you used an appropriate tone (formal, informal, persuasive, etc.)? Is your use of gendered language (masculine and feminine pronouns like “he” or “she,” words like “fireman” that contain “man,” and words that some people incorrectly assume apply to only one gender—for example, some people assume “nurse” must refer to a woman) appropriate? Have you varied the length and structure of your sentences? Do you tends to use the passive voice too often? Does your writing contain a lot of unnecessary phrases like “there is,” “there are,” “due to the fact that,” etc.? Do you repeat a strong word (for example, a vivid main verb) unnecessarily? (For tips, see our handouts on style and gender-inclusive language .)
Have you appropriately cited quotes, paraphrases, and ideas you got from sources? Are your citations in the correct format? (See the UNC Libraries citation tutorial for more information.)
As you edit at all of these levels, you will usually make significant revisions to the content and wording of your paper. Keep an eye out for patterns of error; knowing what kinds of problems you tend to have will be helpful, especially if you are editing a large document like a thesis or dissertation. Once you have identified a pattern, you can develop techniques for spotting and correcting future instances of that pattern. For example, if you notice that you often discuss several distinct topics in each paragraph, you can go through your paper and underline the key words in each paragraph, then break the paragraphs up so that each one focuses on just one main idea.
Proofreading is the final stage of the editing process, focusing on surface errors such as misspellings and mistakes in grammar and punctuation. You should proofread only after you have finished all of your other editing revisions.
Why proofread? It’s the content that really matters, right?
Content is important. But like it or not, the way a paper looks affects the way others judge it. When you’ve worked hard to develop and present your ideas, you don’t want careless errors distracting your reader from what you have to say. It’s worth paying attention to the details that help you to make a good impression.
Most people devote only a few minutes to proofreading, hoping to catch any glaring errors that jump out from the page. But a quick and cursory reading, especially after you’ve been working long and hard on a paper, usually misses a lot. It’s better to work with a definite plan that helps you to search systematically for specific kinds of errors.
Sure, this takes a little extra time, but it pays off in the end. If you know that you have an effective way to catch errors when the paper is almost finished, you can worry less about editing while you are writing your first drafts. This makes the entire writing proccess more efficient.
Try to keep the editing and proofreading processes separate. When you are editing an early draft, you don’t want to be bothered with thinking about punctuation, grammar, and spelling. If your worrying about the spelling of a word or the placement of a comma, you’re not focusing on the more important task of developing and connecting ideas.
The proofreading process
You probably already use some of the strategies discussed below. Experiment with different tactics until you find a system that works well for you. The important thing is to make the process systematic and focused so that you catch as many errors as possible in the least amount of time.
- Don’t rely entirely on spelling checkers. These can be useful tools but they are far from foolproof. Spell checkers have a limited dictionary, so some words that show up as misspelled may really just not be in their memory. In addition, spell checkers will not catch misspellings that form another valid word. For example, if you type “your” instead of “you’re,” “to” instead of “too,” or “there” instead of “their,” the spell checker won’t catch the error.
- Grammar checkers can be even more problematic. These programs work with a limited number of rules, so they can’t identify every error and often make mistakes. They also fail to give thorough explanations to help you understand why a sentence should be revised. You may want to use a grammar checker to help you identify potential run-on sentences or too-frequent use of the passive voice, but you need to be able to evaluate the feedback it provides.
- Proofread for only one kind of error at a time. If you try to identify and revise too many things at once, you risk losing focus, and your proofreading will be less effective. It’s easier to catch grammar errors if you aren’t checking punctuation and spelling at the same time. In addition, some of the techniques that work well for spotting one kind of mistake won’t catch others.
- Read slow, and read every word. Try reading out loud , which forces you to say each word and also lets you hear how the words sound together. When you read silently or too quickly, you may skip over errors or make unconscious corrections.
- Separate the text into individual sentences. This is another technique to help you to read every sentence carefully. Simply press the return key after every period so that every line begins a new sentence. Then read each sentence separately, looking for grammar, punctuation, or spelling errors. If you’re working with a printed copy, try using an opaque object like a ruler or a piece of paper to isolate the line you’re working on.
- Circle every punctuation mark. This forces you to look at each one. As you circle, ask yourself if the punctuation is correct.
- Read the paper backwards. This technique is helpful for checking spelling. Start with the last word on the last page and work your way back to the beginning, reading each word separately. Because content, punctuation, and grammar won’t make any sense, your focus will be entirely on the spelling of each word. You can also read backwards sentence by sentence to check grammar; this will help you avoid becoming distracted by content issues.
- Proofreading is a learning process. You’re not just looking for errors that you recognize; you’re also learning to recognize and correct new errors. This is where handbooks and dictionaries come in. Keep the ones you find helpful close at hand as you proofread.
- Ignorance may be bliss, but it won’t make you a better proofreader. You’ll often find things that don’t seem quite right to you, but you may not be quite sure what’s wrong either. A word looks like it might be misspelled, but the spell checker didn’t catch it. You think you need a comma between two words, but you’re not sure why. Should you use “that” instead of “which”? If you’re not sure about something, look it up.
- The proofreading process becomes more efficient as you develop and practice a systematic strategy. You’ll learn to identify the specific areas of your own writing that need careful attention, and knowing that you have a sound method for finding errors will help you to focus more on developing your ideas while you are drafting the paper.
Think you’ve got it?
Then give it a try, if you haven’t already! This handout contains seven errors our proofreader should have caught: three spelling errors, two punctuation errors, and two grammatical errors. Try to find them, and then check a version of this page with the errors marked in red to see if you’re a proofreading star.
We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.
Especially for non-native speakers of English:
Ascher, Allen. 2006. Think About Editing: An ESL Guide for the Harbrace Handbooks . Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Lane, Janet, and Ellen Lange. 2012. Writing Clearly: Grammar for Editing , 3rd ed. Boston: Heinle.
Einsohn, Amy. 2011. The Copyeditor’s Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications , 3rd ed. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Lanham, Richard A. 2006. Revising Prose , 5th ed. New York: Pearson Longman.
Tarshis, Barry. 1998. How to Be Your Own Best Editor: The Toolkit for Everyone Who Writes . New York: Three Rivers Press.
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25 Editing Tips for Tightening Your Copy (Plus an Editing Checklist)
by Alexis Grant | Nov 1, 2020
Writers rarely spit out their best copy on the first draft. If you meet a writer who claims to have the secret for doing so, please let the rest of us know!
First drafts — and second drafts and sometimes thirds — exist to hash your ideas out on paper. After you’ve revised your book, story, blog post or article until you can revise no more, you just hand it off to your editor to clean up, right?
Well, that’d be ideal. But most of us don’t have the luxury of hiring an expensive editor to review our personal blog post It might even be hard to spend the money for a book editor . And since procrastination is the writer’s best friend, you might not even have time to even ask a fellow writer pal take a quick peek for errors.
And so, in some cases, it falls to you to be your own editor.
How to edit: Follow these copyediting tips
Even if you don’t want to become an editor , you’ve got to learn how to edit. Is it really possible edit your own work when all the words you just finished writing are so precious? Yes! It can be done — and for the sake of making your writing stand out, it must be done.
So pull up your most recently saved draft, and get to work. To make it easy for you, we’ve added to the bottom of this list a downloadable and printable PDF that summarizes these copyediting tips into a checklist.
Here’s how to edit your own work.
The Write Life has teamed up with Self-Publishing School to create this presentation, “How to Write & Publish Your Book in 90 Days.” In it, you’ll learn how to finish your book in just 30 minutes per day. To sign up for this free training, click here.
1. Cut long sentences in two
I’m not talking about run-on sentences. Many long sentences are grammatically correct. But long sentences often contain several ideas, so they can easily lose the reader’s focus because they don’t provide a break, leading readers to get stuck or lose interest, and perhaps the reader might get bored and go watch TV instead.
See what I mean? If you spot a comma-heavy sentence, try to give each idea its own sentence.
2. Axe the adverbs (a.k.a. -ly words)
Adverbs weaken your copy because these excess words are not truly descriptive. Rather than saying the girl runs quickly, say she sprints. Instead of describing the cat as walking slowly, say he creeps or tiptoes. The screen door didn’t shut noisily, it banged shut.
Find a more powerful verb to replace the weak verb + weak -ly adverb combo.
3. Stick to one voice
Sometimes it’s necessary to use both first and second person, but that can be jarring for readers. For example, you might start your introduction talking about yourself, then switch halfway through the piece and start addressing the reader. Try to stick to “I” voice or “you” voice throughout one piece of writing.
And if you must switch, start with one and finish with the other. Don’t move back and forth between the two. Your readers will get lost.
4. Remove extra punctuation
A powerful hyphen here and a thought-provoking semicolon there can be effective. But a piece of writing littered with all sorts of punctuation — parentheses, colons, ellipses , etc. — doesn’t flow well.
Oftentimes, you can eliminate these extra pieces of punctuation with commas or by ending a sentence and starting a new one. And that makes your writing that much stronger.
5. Replace negative with positive
Instead of saying what something isn’t, say what it is. “You don’t want to make these mistakes in your writing” could be better stated as, “You want to avoid these mistakes in your writing.” It’s more straightforward.
If you find negative statements in your writing that contain don’t, shouldn’t, can’t or another such word, find a way to rewrite them without the “not.” That will probably mean you need to find a more powerful verb.
6. Replace stuffy words with simple ones
Some people think jargon makes their writing sound smart, but you know better. Good writing does not confuse readers. If they need to grab a dictionary to finish a sentence, your writing has room for improvement .
To get your point across, use words people are familiar with. The English language has thousands of words. You can certainly find a shorter or more common word in your thesaurus than a jargony one.
7. Remove redundancies
You don’t need to say the exact same thing with two words. Did you catch the redundant words in that sentence? Here’s a better version: you don’t need to say the same thing with two words.
Brand new, advance planning, basic necessities… the list of these common phrases is longer than this blog post. Check out Thoughtco.com’s 200 Common Redundancies and then start snipping!
Sometimes sneaky redundancies are separated by an “and.” If you say your sentences are straightforward and to-the-point, they are neither. You don’t need both words. Your sentences are straightforward. Or, your sentences are to-the-point.
8. Reduce prepositions
Though prepositions (of, in, to, for, etc.) are helpful little words, they make sentences more lengthy because they cannot stand alone. Prepositions need lots of friends. By cutting the preposition and the words that follow, you can cut three, four or even five words. Sometimes a prepositional phrase can be replaced with just one more direct word, or cut completely.
An easy way to cut prepositions is to look for opportunities to make something possessive. The car of your neighbor is really just your neighbor’s car.
9. Cut “in order to”
You never need it. If you’re going to the kitchen in order to make a sandwich… Your sentence could be tighter. Because you’re really going to the kitchen to make a sandwich.
That “in order to” makes it take a millisecond longer to arrive at the meaty part of the sentence, which means your story is dragging more than it needs to.
10. Don’t use “start to”
Did you start to walk the dog, or did you walk the dog? Is the car starting to roll down the hill, or is it rolling down the hill?
“Start to” is a more difficult phrase to deal with than “in order to,” because sometimes you do need it. But more likely than not, you don’t.
Rather than making “start” the active verb, use the verb that’s actually more active — like walking or rolling — to tell your story.
11. Nix “that”
In about five percent of your sentences (total guess from the grammar police), “that” makes your idea easier to understand. In the other 95 percent, get rid of it!
“I decided that journalism was a good career for me” reads better as “I decided journalism was a good career for me.”
12. Replace “thing” with a better word
Usually when we write “thing” or “things,” it’s because we were too lazy to think of a better word. In every day life, we may ask for “that thing over there,” but in your writing, calling anything a “thing” does not help your reader.
Try to replace all “thing” or “things” with a more descriptive word.
13. Try really hard to spot instances of “very” and “really”
This is a very difficult one to remember. I almost never get it right, until I go back through my copy, and the word jumps out at me, and then I change the sentence to “This is a difficult one to remember.” Because really, how much is that “very” helping you get your point across?
It doesn’t make the task sound more difficult. Same thing with “really.” It’s not a “really” difficult tip to remember. It’s simply a difficult tip to remember. Got it?
14. Make your verbs stronger
“Make” is sometimes used in the same way as “start to,” in place of what could be a stronger verb.
For example, I first titled this post, I wrote “25 ways to make your copy stronger.” When I re-read it, I realized the verb wasn’t strong.
I’d used “make” as the verb, when it doesn’t tell the reader much at all. So I changed the title to “25 ways to strengthen your copy.” Eventually I realized “tighten” was an even better verb .
15. Ditch the passive voice
Passive voice sticks out to editors, but it can be difficult to notice in your own writing. Learning how to identify it and fixing these instances will make your writing stronger.
Here’s an example of passive voice: “The door was left open.”
To change that sentence to active voice, it would look like this: “Someone left the door open” or “He left the door open.” The idea is to be clear about who or what is executing the action.
If you want to get good at this, Self-Publishing School has a solid post explaining passive voice .
16. Refer to people as “who” not “that”
John is the guy who always forgets his shoes, not the guy that always forgets his shoes.
It’s easy to make this mistake because “that” has become acceptable in everyday conversations. But it’s more noticeable when it’s written down.
17. Avoid “currently”
Pro copywriting tip: “Currently” is always redundant.
Don’t write: “Tom Jones is currently a communications director.” Tom Jones is a communications director at that moment. You don’t need “currently” to clarify. Just get rid of it.
18. Eliminate “there is” or “there are” at the beginning of sentences
This is often a symptom of lazy writing. There are lots of better, more interesting ways to start sentences.
See how easy it is to make this mistake? Instead of starting a sentence with “there is,” try turning the phrase around to include a verb or start with you.
For example, replace the sentence above with “Start your sentences in a more interesting way.” If your copy includes a lot of phrases that begin with “there is” or “there are,” put some time into rewriting most of them.
19. Match up your bullet points
Bullet points are a popular and effective way to organize complex ideas. Just make sure your bullets correspond to one another.
Too often, writers mix and match mistakes with what you should do or transition to shoulds halfway through the post — which only confuses the reader.
If your piece is called 3 Career Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make, here’s a bullet point that works:
Forgetting to tailor your resume each time you apply for a job
Here’s one that doesn’t work (because it’s not actually a mistake — the writer accidentally switched to what you should do):
Make sure you tailor your resume
You can turn most any idea into a tip by adding a verb. For example: “Remember that sitting on your head helps you write better.” Make your bullet points consistent and your writing will read more smoothly.
20. Use contractions
Which sounds more personable: I am heading to the market that is close to my house, or I’m heading to the market that’s close to my house?
Contractions make your writing sound friendlier, like you’re (not you are) a real person. And that makes it easier to connect with readers.
Contractions can also make your post easier to read and comprehend. So go out of your way to include them in your posts! Your editor will thank you.
21. Steer clear of the “ing” trap
“We were starting to …” or “She was skiing toward …” Whenever you see an “ing” in your copy, think twice about whether you need it — because you probably don’t.
Instead, get rid of “were” or “was,” then eliminate that “ing” and replace it with past tense: “We started to …” or “She skied toward …” Pruning excessive “ings” makes your writing clearer and easier to read.
22. Check your commas with “that” and “which”
When used as a descriptor, the word “which” takes a comma. But the word “that” doesn’t.
For example: “We went to the house that collapsed yesterday” or “We went to the house, which collapsed yesterday.”
Confused about when to use “that” vs. “which?” Grammarly offers a great explanation .
23. Replace “over” with “more than” for numbers
Over 200 people did not like your Facebook page — more than 200 people did.
Of course, everyone will know what you mean if you use “over.” In fact, the AP Styleguide, which many journalists follow as the bible of style, announced a few years ago that “over” is now acceptable in place of “more than.”
But if we’re being really nit-picky, using “more than” instead is still one a little detail that will help your writing shine.
24. Hyphenate modifiers
Whenever you modify a noun with more than one word, you need a hyphen. Lots of people don’t follow this rule, so it’s a great way to show you actually walk the walk.
That means you need a hyphen if you’re writing about full-time work. But you don’t need one if you’re working full time.
Got it? The exception: No need to hyphenate modifiers that end in “ly.” Those are OK on their own. So your newly hired employee doesn’t need that hyphen.
25. Identify your tells
No matter how good of a writer you are, when you sit down to write a first draft, you have a tendency to spit out sentences in a certain way or use certain words. The more familiar you become with editing your own copy, the more quickly you should be able to pick up on your tells. And, the more ruthless you can be to eliminate them from your writing.
“Start to” plagued me while writing my book; I made the “start to” mistake again and again. But once I knew to look for it during revisions, I was able to correct it.
(Hint: If this is a problem for you, try using Word’s or Google Doc’s search function to look for “start.” You’ll catch each one, so you can evaluate them individually.)
Bonus: An editing checklist for how to edit your work (it’s printable!)
Since we first published this post back in 2013, so many of you mentioned bookmarking and sharing the post that we whipped up a pretty editing checklist to go with it. It’s available to download and print.
Pin this baby up on the wall above your desk, whip out your red pen, and get to work! Your blog post, feature article, or novel will be tighter and stronger in no time as you learn how to make edits.
If you want to download or print the editing checklist, click on it to bring up the full size.
This is an updated version of a story that was previously published. We update our posts as often as possible to ensure they’re useful for our readers.
Some of these tips originally ran on Copyblogger and AlexisGrant .com . These tips were compiled with the help of Betsy Mikel.
Photo via Lamai Prasitsuwan/ Shutterstock
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Frequently asked questions about writing, what are the best free writing courses .
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If you're just getting started with writing and looking for a comprehensive suite of courses, Coursera offers great options. The Writing for Business course provides a good foundation for clear and effective business writing. For those interested in honing their editing skills, Writing, Editing, & Words and Writing, Editing, & Structure cover writing process, drafting and revision for maximum clarity. Writing Your World and Writing About Ourselves focus on creative writing development with personal and fictional stories.
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For those looking to take their writing skills to the next level, Coursera offers excellent advanced writing courses. The Just Reading and Writing English course is a great resource for anyone wanting to brush up on their reading and writing skills. Additionally, for those looking for more in-depth grammar instruction, the English: Writing and Grammar: Adverb Clauses , English: Writing and Grammar: Noun Clauses , and English: Writing and Grammar: Adjective Clauses classes provide comprehensive instruction. Finally, Copy of Glasscock: Writing: Grammar & Style delves into the art of editing and revising, allowing users to learn the more nuanced aspects of writing.
Why is it important to learn to write?
Alongside verbal communication and body language, writing is one of the most essential forms of interpersonal communication. In the workplace, strong writing skills allow you to send persuasive emails to your boss or clarify complicated instructions with coworkers. In your personal life, writing allows you to keep in touch with friends and family members via texts, social media posts, or traditional letters.
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Writing is an essential skill if you want to pursue a career in a field such as copywriting, journalism, technical writing, or scriptwriting. Copywriters use their writing to persuade audiences to try a service, buy a product, or participate in an event. Journalists write about current events, and their work can help people make informed daily decisions. Technical writers break down complex processes into more concise and easy-to-understand text. Scriptwriters, novelists, and poets produce artistic works that entertain, inspire, and inform audiences. Artistic works can also challenge viewers to explore a new perspective.
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15 Ways to Improve Your Writing Skills Dramatically
Learning a variety of tricks to improve writing skills isn’t as difficult as you may think. We’ve put together a list of steps to help you make dramatic improvements to the quality of your writing in short order.
Becoming a better writer takes practice , and you’re already practicing. No, seriously—you write a lot. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a writer, you put thoughts into text more often than you realize. At the very least, you write emails —a lot of emails—post on social media, make updates to your résumé and LinkedIn profile , and message your friends. If your job requires it, you also create things like reports, presentations , newsletters . . . it’s a long list.
Here’s a tip: Want to make sure your writing shines? Grammarly can check your spelling and save you from grammar and punctuation mistakes. It even proofreads your text, so your work is extra polished wherever you write.
Give your writing extra polish Grammarly helps you communicate confidently Write with Grammarly
So, you’re already writing. Now, to improve writing is just a matter of becoming conscious of the things you can do to give your text more structure and make your copy crisp and readable with a conversational style.
Give your writing structure
It’s fine to rattle off a stream of consciousness when you’re writing in your journal, but if you actually want to communicate with others you’ll need to bring some order to those rambling thoughts. Here are some tips.
1 Make sure you’re clear on the concepts you’re writing about.
Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” Before you start writing, take a moment to mentally explain the concept to the six-year-old who lives inside your head. (We all have one, don’t we?) If your writing goal is to achieve a specific result, ask yourself what that result should be. Before you dive into writing, have a clear purpose. Then stick to it.
2 If the message is complex, outline it.
It doesn’t take much thought-organizing to compose the average text message, but if you’re writing something more complex, with multiple angles, questions, or requests, get all that stuff sorted before you sit down to write. Making an outline , or even just some quick notes about the topics you want to cover, can save you time answering clarifying questions later.
3 Anticipate your readers’ questions.
Improving writing involves putting yourself in your readers’ shoes (you could call it empathy ). Do they have enough context to understand what you’ve written for them? If not, fill in the blanks. But . . .
4 Don’t over-explain.
If you’ve taken the time to organize your thoughts in advance, you should be able to keep things simple. The idea is to give readers just enough to understand what you’re communicating without overwhelming them with trivial details. If you find yourself getting in the weeds with more details than you need, look at each piece of information and ask whether it’s essential to help your reader understand your message. If not, get rid of it.
Write with confidence. Real-time writing feedback, wherever you need it. Get Grammarly
Tighten your writing
We sometimes write like we talk, and that can be a good thing. It keeps our writing conversational (more on that in a moment.) But rambling, wordy writing makes your text hard to read, and it can make you sound as though you lack conviction. Start practicing these tips to improve your writing skills.
5 Go easy on the prepositional phrases
When I was a neophyte writer, someone showed me how prepositional phrases made my writing unnecessarily wordy and complex. It was an epiphany!
Prepositions aren’t difficult to understand, but the concept does require some explanation. Get smart about prepositions here , and then try to simplify them whenever it makes sense. Your writing will get a much-needed clarity boost.
6 Eliminate the filler words and phrases
Some words show up in our writing all the time, and yet they don’t contribute much of anything. Although these filler words and phrases sometimes add color or even meaning, most of the time they contribute nothing but clutter. Here are thirty-one of them you can eliminate right now.
>> READ MORE: How to Ensure Your Writing Is Concise and Clear
7 Don’t pad weak words with adverbs.
Adverbs —those words that often end in -ly—modify verbs and sometimes adjectives. They’re okay once in a while, but when you find yourself using them all the time, you’re probably making weak word choices. Instead of “ran really fast” write “sprinted.” Was something “extremely funny”? Nah, it was “hilarious.” The scenery may have been “very beautiful,” but your writing’s going to shine if you refer to it as “gorgeous,” “lush,” “verdant,” or “bucolic.”
Make your writing more conversational
8 stick with simple words..
Bestselling author John Grisham said, “There are three types of words: (1) words we know; (2) words we should know; (3) words nobody knows. Forget those in the third category and use restraint with those in the second.” There’s a difference between having a rich vocabulary and dropping million-dollar words into your writing just to show off. Unless it’s your intent to be poetic, keep your language simple and direct.
I’m certain sure you are able to can deliver the quality of work we’re looking for. Let’s discuss talk about it in our meeting next week.
9 Use contractions.
English speakers use contractions —you’re, I’m, we’re, they’re, can’t, didn’t. Your writing will sound stiff and formal without them. For example:
I am sure you are able to deliver the quality of work we are looking for. Let us discuss it in our meeting next week.
Now, let’s add some contractions. Doesn’t this sound less stuffy?
I’m sure you can deliver the quality of work we’re looking for. Let’s talk about it in our meeting next week.
10 Try transcribing yourself.
Record yourself talking. You can learn a lot about conversational writing using this one weird trick! (Sorry, Buzzfeed, we tease because we care.)
Try transcribing a conversation you’ve recorded (with the other person’s permission, of course). Transcribe a couple of minutes of the conversation word-for-word. Then, fix or remove any false starts and remove filler (um, uh, like, you know)— et voila! —you’ve got yourself some conversational writing. The process of transcribing and editing will help you learn what to do and what not to.
11 Throw away the grammar rule book . . . within reason.
We, the Grammarly team, give you permission to start sentences with conjunctions . And (see what we did there?) unless you’re writing something formal, we’re perfectly okay with you ending some sentences with prepositions.
12 Keep your sentences simple.
Literary greats can write long, complex sentences with flair. Why not you? Well, for starters you’re probably not trying to write like Tolstoy, Nabokov, or Faulkner. Short, less complicated sentences are easier to read. Keep it simple, silly! But do vary your sentence length so your writing has a nice flow.
13 Read it out loud.
Speaking of flow, reading your writing aloud can help you determine whether it flows smoothly. If it sounds choppy and clipped, add a few longer sentences to break up that steady, monotonous beat. If you find yourself stumbling over parts, you’ve probably found an overly complex sentence that needs rewriting.
14 Infuse your personality into your writing
Letting your personality shine through is the best way to develop a writing style. Use the phrases and slang that you would normally use (within reason). When it’s appropriate, throw in a relevant personal anecdote. In all but the most formal or professional writing settings, be yourself when you write.
15 Practice, practice, practice!
The ultimate way to improving writing is to learn what weakens it in the first place, and then set your mind to fixing (and eventually preventing) the glitches. The more you write, edit , and proofread, the better you get at it.
Here’s a tip: You don’t have to guess whether you’re using certain words correctly or breaking grammar rules in your writing. Just copy and paste your writing into our Grammar Checker and get instant feedback on whether your sentences have misspellings, punctuation errors, or any structural mistakes.
Explore online writing courses and programs
Why learn writing skills.
The ability to write well is a foundational skill for communication in both personal and professional settings. Writing allows you to express thoughts, opinions, ideas, and emotions. It facilitates connections between people and allows them to engage in the type of discourse that can lead to discovery and progress.
Clear and concise writing that conveys information both accurately and precisely can help guide people’s decision making and actions. The style of writing can express the importance and sense of urgency behind a message. The flow of writing can change the emotions that people feel when reading those words.
Whether you are writing a script for a podcast, crafting an email to your colleagues, or penning a message to a family member, strong writing skills can significantly improve how the communication is delivered and how it is received.
Browse online writing classes
Stand out in your field, learn at your own pace, earn a valuable credential, related topics, online writing course curriculum.
With online writing courses, any learner can master the skills needed to become a strong writer. Start with the fundamentals in an online grammar course, where you can learn about the different parts of speech, punctuation, conjugation, and sentence structure. Or more advanced writers can practice their storytelling and persuasive writing skills with an essay writing course. Develop your own style by reading and analyzing the works of other writers, and explore how to write in different formats and tones in creative writing courses.
You can even find courses that teach writing for specific contexts. For example, a business writing class may cover how to relay tough feedback or how to adjust your tone to build consensus.
For learners interested in advancing their knowledge in a variety of subjects, edX offers a range of educational opportunities, including boot camps , as well as bachelor's degree programs, and master’s degree programs. Explore how online education can help you build the critical skills you need and get started learning today.
Explore writing jobs
Clear writing and communication skills are assets in nearly every industry. Regardless of whether you work as a lawyer or a mathematician, you will likely need to be capable of crafting a well-written message.
But for those who enjoy writing, there are careers that can leverage their talents, including:
Journalist: Writes news or feature articles for video, online, or print publications.
Novelist or author: Focuses on storytelling by writing longform fiction and nonfiction.
Copywriter: Writes marketing-driven copy such as advertisements and emails.
Communications or public relations specialist: Delivers strategic messages on behalf of a client or an organization.
Speech writer: Crafts speeches for individuals including leaders or lawmakers.
Screenwriter: Develops scripts for movies, television shows, and other visual media.
Editor: Reviews and revises written materials for accuracy, clarity, and style.
How to start a career in writing
Writing takes practice. If you are interested in pursuing a career in the field, it’s important to ensure that you have a mastery of the fundamentals of writing. You can build those skills through instruction and coursework in which you have to apply what you have learned. That means responding to prompts, writing essays, and critically reviewing your work to better understand how you can improve.
Writing also requires expertise. While you can be a general writer, somebody who wants to pursue a technical writing career, for example, will need background knowledge of that field in order to be able to understand what they are reporting on or writing about. A strong understanding of how to research, interview, and source can also be beneficial for aspiring professionals in this space.
If you dream of being the next great writer, begin honing your craft with online courses delivered through edX.
More opportunities for you to learn
We've added 500+ learning opportunities to create one of the world's most comprehensive free-to-degree online learning platforms.
Master's degrees, bachelor's degrees, writing faq.
Effective writing is clear and accurate and provides enough context to engage readers and help them understand the message you are trying to deliver. For example, journalists provide context by focusing on the “who, what, when, where, and why” of a situation.
There are many different types of writing including, but not limited to: persuasive writing, creative writing, poetry, script writing, journalism, nonfiction, academic writing, speech writing, and song writing.
Learners develop writing skills at their own pace. Developing mastery takes practice and time.
Sometimes grammatical rules are not universally applicable, which can make them difficult to remember. Everyone has different learning styles and speeds. Memorization can help, but practice is key.
There are online courses that can help you learn how to organize your ideas and develop your voice for a business setting. You can practice writing effective emails, reports, and presentations.
Aspiring creative writers can develop their skills by taking classes that not only teach them about the essential elements of storytelling, but also give them opportunities to practice writing and critiquing both their own work and the work of other writers.
Last updated April 2023
Do you know how to teach editing to your students with absolutely no stress?
- February 12, 2021
- Teaching systems
Do you know how to teach editing in your classroom? Or do you think it’s too much stress and it’s easier to do it yourself?
I was in the second camp for several years. But in my heart of hearts I knew I wasn’t helping my students by doing the editing for grammar and punctuation on their papers.
Here’s how it came about. My son had a fabulous teacher in 5th grade who was meticulous about reviewing and grading work. Even though my son was a good writer, all of his papers came back with editing marks on them for grammar issues. I thought that’s what teachers were supposed to do.
But when I became a teacher I noticed something strange. Even though I went over the students’ papers and made notes about things they should change, instead of correcting their own writing, they just wrote their final drafts with the same mistakes. Has that ever happened to you?
Obviously, the students weren’t learning editing skills. I needed to change that.
Can Students Learn to Edit Their Writing?
First, I went on a mission to find out how to teach students to peer edit and self edit so they could learn to correct their own mistakes. I asked other teachers what they did. I asked my principal.
Next, I scoured online forums and groups.
Finally, I decided to adapt C.U.P.S. editing with my own tools and strategies. I used it for years, and each year worked on making it better.
Today I’m sharing that system with you, my friend.
Teaching Editing with C.U.P.S.
This system is part of my Daily Writing Prompts digital journal . The students use this interactive version to drag highlighters across their writing to edit. It’s strictly for editing grammar and punctuation. It’s not for revising or editing for theme, voice, or content. It’s called C.U.P.S. Perhaps you’ve heard the acronym before today, but here’s what each letter represents.
- U=usage (subject verb agreement, proper use of plural nouns, etc.)
Here are the steps I found most effective in teaching editing for grammar and punctuation.
- Students sit together if they are peer editing or alone if they’re self editing.
- They have four highlighting strips. One is for capitalization, one is for usage, one is for punctuation, one is for spelling.
- Using a reading guide highlighter, or in the case of my digital notebook, a moveable highlighter strip, the student reads the paragraph out loud four times.
- In the first pass, they read the entire paragraph out loud with the highlighting strip for capitalization. Anywhere they need to capitalize a word, they stop and correct it.
- After that, they do the same with the usage highlighter strip. I like to use four different colors of strips. You can see that in the image of the highlighters.
- Third, they read the paragraph aloud again for punctuation.
- Finally, they read the paragraph aloud again with the highlighter strip for spelling and they circle any words they think might be misspelled.
Using the C.U.P.S. system, students should be able to edit a one page writing assignment in about 5 minutes. Even if it’s not perfect, just remember that “Done is Better than Perfect.”
Watch This Video to Learn More About Editing With CUPS
Teach Editing to the Class or Small Groups First
Of course, you’ll want to teach this system to your students in small groups before you have them do their own editing. No matter how good they get at it, they’re still going to come to you with questions about grammar points in their writing. That’s wonderful! It means they’re becoming more cognizant of their own writing. They’re learning to be aware of the words they put to pen or keyboard. The next image is a page of student instructions. (Just in case they forget!) 🙂
If you encourage daily writing in your classroom , they’ll get better and better at this as the school year passes.
If You Teach Editing It Saves You Time
At first, it may seem time-intensive to do this. But it’s an investment for your future and it’s well worth it. In the end, once you’ve taught the students how to do this, you’ll have extra time to work with students one-to-one or in small groups. You’ll be reviewing their writing in class, instead of on the weekends at home.
After you’ve taught this skill, two very wonderful things will happen.
- Students will be doing more of the work and learning more.
- You’ll never have to edit writing at home on a weekend again.
I hope these tips and this system are helpful to you. I have more free writing checklists and tools for you on my Resources page.
P.S. Before you go, if you or another teacher wants to learn how to simplify and organize their workday, I’d love for you to share this post.
🔽You might also enjoy the FREE video series🔽
Plan Your Year Like a Boss in 5 Days or Less
If you can curriculum map your year, you’ll be more relaxed, less stressed, and you’ll make time for the important things.
Because every teacher deserves the weekend to relax!
Related posts:, more blog posts.
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Free online proofreading and essay editor
A reliable proofreading tool and essay editor for any writer or student, a complete environment.
Typely is more than just a proofreading tool. It's a complete writing environment.
Thousands of checks
More than a thousand checks are being performed and we've only scratched the surface.
Inspired by the greatest writers
Gain access to humanity’s collective understanding about the craft of writing.
A proofreading tool that does not bark at every tree
Typely is precise. Existing tools for proofreading raise so many false alarms that their advice cannot be trusted. Instead, the writer must carefully consider whether to accept or reject each change.
We aim for a tool so precise that it becomes possible to unquestioningly adopt its recommendations and still come out ahead — with stronger, tighter prose. Better to be quiet and authoritative than loud and unreliable.
Relax, focus, write your next masterpiece...
Writing presumes more than simply laying out words on a paper. Typely helps you get in the mood and keeps you focused, immersed and ready to write your story.
Whether you need a distraction-free environment, some chill relaxing sounds or a pomodoro timer to manage your time we got you covered.
Got questions? We have answers.
No. Typely is completely free and we plan on keeping it that way. We are considering some advanced features however that might be available under a premium plan.
The only limit we have applied thus far is on the number of characters you can submit and that is being set at a maximum of 50,000.
In theory yes but that will require a lot of work and professionals dedicated for this job. We are considering a way of letting the community participate somehow.
Typely does not do grammar checking because it's hard and almost impossible to get right. The aim for Typely is to be precise and reliable.
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Editing your writing
To learn how to edit your writing by checking it again carefully in order to improve its quality.
In Years 3 & 4 , students are encouraged to:
- draft and write by using paragraphs, headings etc.
- evaluate and edit
- proof-read for spelling and punctuation errors
When we edit our writing, we go through it again carefully to make changes and correct any mistakes.
Changing what we have written and making new versions is an important part of the writing process, so we must remember to do it before we decide that a piece of writing is finished.
It's OK to make mistakes when writing something for the first time. Checking, correcting and changing a piece of writing means it is on its way to being something really great!
Editing: top tips
Let's look at the most important things to remember when editing a piece of writing.
Have you included everything you wanted to say?
For example, if you were writing a thank you card to someone, editing it could include making sure you have given all the reasons you are grateful to the person.
Have you used the right types of words?
For example, if you were writing to a friend your words can be chatty and friendly, but if your letter was to somebody you didn't know, or someone like a teacher, then you would need to be more polite!
Have you checked the grammar and vocabulary?
For example, do you need to add more adjectives to make your writing more interesting or make sure you have used pronouns in sentences correctly?
Proofreading your work
Proofreading writing means checking it carefully for mistakes, such as in spelling or grammar. We normally do this at the end of the editing process and it involves some extra steps.
Watch this video to learn more about how to proofread.
After editing your work, read it again, imagining someone else has written it. See how well your sentences are written and write them again if you need.
Look out for spelling, grammar and mistakes in punctuation, like full stops , commas and apostrophes .
Make sure your sentences make sense, using good conjunctions, like and , but and because .
Look for words or sentences that you can make better by choosing different vocabulary, such as new adjectives.
You may need paper and a pen or pencil for some of these activities.
Can you spot the mistakes in these three pieces of writing?
There not in they’re house because their over they’re, in the park.
The golden sands felt warm beneth my feet. I drunk a cold glass off water.
You’re car is blocking are drive. Our you going too move it soon?
Check your answers in this answers sheet .
Watch out for homophones (words that sound the same but have different meanings, such as sea and see or hear and here ) as these can be tricky!
Edit and rewrite these three sentences to make them more interesting or exciting.
For example: The firefighters are brave. The firefighters are so brave - they have the hearts of lions!
The teachers are kind.
The athletes are strong.
The dinosaurs scare me.
We can edit and improve sentences in different ways. Look at this sentence: The dog ran under the table.
We can add more words.
- Just as the fireworks went off , the dog ran and hid under the table.
We can take out words, or change the order of them.
- The dog ran when the fireworks went off.
We can replace some words with other words that are more suitable or impressive.
- Just as the fireworks exploded , the shy dog ran and hid under the table.
Time for you to have a go! Edit this sentence in as many ways as you can:
The girl was eating.
In this lesson you have learned about editing your own writing to improve its quality.
There are other useful articles on Bitesize to help you to understand more about writing:
- How to plan your story
- How to think about your purpose for writing
- How to identify errors
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Writing a diary entry
How to proofread
Features of a newspaper report
Learn to Write: The Ultimate Guide to Get You Started
by Julia McCoy | Apr 3, 2018 | How to Write
Quick, write an email.
(*or insert whatever it is in place of “email” that you need to write*)
I’ve seen people shudder faster at the idea of writing — anything — than they do when preparing to skydive.
Is this you?
The truth is, writing doesn’t have to be scary.
You already do it all of the time.
Not to mention, if you work online in any capacity (freelancer, marketer, running a business online) the need for knowing how to write goes up even more. Writing is considered one of the top ten industries for freelancers. Through blog posts, web pages and marketing copy, freelance writers take the reins as the voice of a company.
Learning how to write effectively is a skill that cannot be overlooked.
I’ve written three books , over 1,000 blogs, and led a writing agency in the completion of over 20,000 projects since 2011. I’ve also taught the internet’s first Unlearn Essay Writing course . Consider me your writing mentor.
Today’s guide is your ultimate roadmap to learning how to write better.
Why Everyone Should Learn How to Write
Good writing is fundamental in any and every task you do online – seriously.
Even if you aren’t on the path to becoming a professional writer, writing is still a necessary skill needed to accelerate your career.
A survey of over 120 American corporations taken by Collegeboard on behalf of the National Commission on Writing, found that writing corresponds with employees’ ability to effectively communicate.
When applying for a job, 86% of the responding companies claim they hold “poorly written application materials” against candidates.
A stellar resume can get your foot in the door, but writing is a skill that must be proven throughout your performance.
Most companies require some form of written correspondence even if the position never calls for it.
Beyond emails and financial reports, the need for writing is still prevalent in our everyday lives.
Exhibit A: texting. Let’s be honest, does anyone actually use their phone to call their friends these days?
Even though Instagram and Facebook are dominated by photo-centric posts, the captions are how we express ourselves on social media. It’s even the way major news networks publicize breaking news.
Arnold Schwarzenegger had open-heart surgery to replace an old valve. The surgery was successful and he is in stable condition, his rep says. https://t.co/Ex0IeVmkc0 pic.twitter.com/XHVw59cr4q — CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) March 30, 2018
Learning to write is critical to your success online. Let’s dive into the “how!”
The Difference in Writing for the Web vs. Just “Writing”
Now that we’ve established the importance of writing as a whole, we’ll tackle an entirely different beast: writing online content.
Unlike a poet or an author, content writers must adhere to the rules of the web in addition to creating engaging content.
Yes, Catcher in the Rye was impressive, but would it ever have gone viral online?
Web content, like blogs, web pages and marketing copy follow a different formula than the layman’s written word.
The content must be informative, highly researched, and persuasive all while being completely engaging to a wide audience.
If you ever thought writing a blog post was as simple as jotting down thoughts in your journal every night, think again.
Great content writers aren’t born, they practice and become great after many late nights, sweat, and tears.
That’s a big reason why you see a lot of crappy writing around the web… because seriously good copy isn’t easy to write.
Writing is a skill that needs to be developed over time. Think of writing as any other professional sport, and you are a rookie player trying to reach the championships. As an athlete, you must train to perfect your craft.
Becoming a professional writer also takes extensive training, but the benefits will open up doors for every possible career in the future.
And this is why I took a year in 2016 and wrote a book with over 180 pages on this topic: So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide to Successful Online Writing.
And in 2020, just a few months ago, I created and launched a writing course just for teaching you internet writing standards. It’s a huge market need. Over 90% of our writing applicants at Express Writers don’t know how to structure and write for the internet.
Unlearn Essay Writing Course was born from this need, and so far, we’ve helped over 40 writers learn how to shape habits that will get read on the internet. ⭐️
Learn to Write Like a Pro: 9 Lessons that Will Help Your Writing Seriously Shine
Professional writing is more than always using the correct version of there/they’re/their.
It’s also more than the debate between whether or not to use semicolons. George Bernard Shaw says, “Do not use semicolons at all.” Other famous grammarians have agreed with his statement.
The secret recipe to becoming an expert professional writer isn’t so secret after all.
Like any skill, it takes practice and dedication to the craft.
Then… more practice.
And maybe a break… and practice again after that.
If the top of your to-do list proclaims “LEARN HOW TO WRITE,” you may find yourself staring at an empty Word document watching the cursor blink back at you with disappointment.
Learning to write seems like a daunting task when thought of as one goal. A more realistic approach is to break it down into smaller steps along the way.
1. Tools: How Writers Set Themselves Up for Success
The environment in which you write is vital to your success. It is the first step towards clarifying your thoughts.
As a professional writer, the computer is the vessel in which you communicate. Most jobs require using the classic Microsoft Word coupled with the internet for extensive research.
Read that last part carefully.
The internet is meant to be used for research purposes. I have personally never used videos of cats being scared by cucumbers for research, so you shouldn’t either. Well, until now.
It’s easy to be distracted for hours when another cat video awaits your click.
Luckily, there are a few tools to limit distractions and stimulate your focus.
Writing applications like Ommwriter have downloadable themes set in natural, minimal backgrounds complete with audio tracks to create the perfect writing atmosphere.
Other extensions like OneTab convert multiple tabs into one list. Example:
A few other exercises you can practice to clear your mind are to play music or turn off your phone.
Customizing your setting allows you to spend time lost in your words without interruptions, and communicate more effectively.
2. Very Important: Set Routine for More Success
If you are just starting out, you should reserve a certain amount of time everyday to practice your craft.
Sticking to a routine, like writing for thirty minutes each day at 12pm, will keep you accountable and teach you discipline.
3. Before Writing: Research, Outlines and Structure
The writing process starts long before you ever type anything.
After setting the mood to write well, you must spend time in the before stage building the structure of your piece. This part is crucial to set yourself up for success.
One main difference between writing for pleasure and writing as a profession, is that the latter consists of a lot more dedicated planning.
Though my swim teacher advocated jumping into the deep end during my very first lesson, learning how to write by first tackling a novel will leave you drowning in words.
Creating an outline is the best way to get your thoughts in order before you delve into full sentences.
Outlines are the backbone of any written piece. They are a place to put down ideas and build on them with supportive evidence. They will also guide you through the writing process.
Outlining beforehand gives you a starting point, teaches structure and makes the whole process go a lot faster.
Like scientists, writers must also research to prove their theory.
Content writers often learn to write on a variety of different subject matter. As the author, you must become an expert on the topic at hand and adjust your tone as needed. Every professional writer also becomes a professional researcher. You start as a student, and then transform into the teacher. A main part of learning to write is sifting through the internet to source from new, relevant and informative information that applies to your topic.
4. During Writing: Creating Engaging Content
The time has come.
With a carefully crafted outline, all of your topics are waiting in line ready to be called next. It is time to start writing.
All it takes is one word to begin and you’ll find your fingers swiftly typing away, and for this stage of writing, you should let them. Try to avoid editing yourself as you go. You can refine after you get your ideas down.
Above all else, you must engage your reader.
Creating engaging content doesn’t mean succumbing to cheap tactics without providing any quality material. Solid content is the opposite of clickbait. While “50 Proven Ways to Lose 10 lbs by Next Week” is appealing, a reader quickly loses interest once they figure out it’s just an ad for a diet pill.
A social media marketing study from Keyhole, proved Buzzfeed’s “sharebait” argument false when analyzing their posts.
In fact, they found that non-clickbait posts were retweeted 390 times on average, versus a measly 183 retweets for their typical attention grabbing headlines.
The proof is in the data. Readers value content with substance.
The trick is to grab their attention immediately, and hold on to it by providing useful content that is not only informative, but fun to read.
Keep your readers engaged by practicing a few of these techniques during the writing process:
- Put your audience first. You’ve probably heard the expression, “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.” Try reading your blog through someone else’s perspective. Write for the reader above all else without getting bogged down by the latest SEO trends.
- Use a persuasive (not overbearing) tone. Online content is written with the purpose of selling an idea, brand or object. However, as a content writer you are not the typical salesperson. There is no need to convince the audience with flashy gimmicks. Find out what’s important to your readers and use those factors to support your arguments.
- Catch the reader with your hook. With the average attention span at eight seconds, you have limited time to keep your viewers reading on. Learning to write a killer intro for a blog or webpage, will grasp your reader’s attention. Don’t be afraid to make it conversational, be funny or start with a shocking statistic.
- Make it personal. The small, intimate details are what will set your writing apart from anyone else. It brings your anecdotes to life and allows the reader to feel like you are sharing something with them. It’s the difference between writing, “I went to the grocery store to pick up some chips” and “I went to HEB to snag a bag of Salsa Verde Doritos.” The details are what makes your writing you.
- Demonstrate your examples. Another common use of this phrase is “show your work.” If you say that popsicles are the number one snack for adolescents, then prove it. Provide readers with relevant links and sources to support your claims. Practice what you preach by giving readers no other choice than to believe you.
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5. After Writing: Editing, Proofreading and Optimizing
You made it!
The pages are filled with text, the word count is met, and every idea swirling around your head has made it through the end of your fingertips onto the computer screen.
Take a break! Now come right back.
What comes after the big task of writing, distinguishes great writers from the rest. The after writing stage is just the beginning of the editing stage. Editing is a crucial part of every writing process, especially when it comes to creating online content.
The first draft of a blog is hardly the last. Every written piece goes through cycles of editing and proofreading to get it to that number one spot on Google.
Editing as you write will only slow you down. Resist changing your work until you’ve gotten all of the words out of your system.
Once your first draft is finished, take a breather, then go back and read it. You should perform several cycles of re-reading your content while taking breaks in between.
If there is a part that just doesn’t seem to work, try reading it aloud.
As a content writer, your work is two-fold. The content first and foremost needs to be high-quality, engaging writing. However, it also must be optimized to rank high in search engines. The editing process provides the time to refine headings, check your use of the keyword, hit the target word count and optimize the rest of the document based on the client’s needs.
Therefore, there are a few rules to adhere to when learning to write engaging online content.
- Provide high quality, authoritative links. This is where time spent researching comes back into play. Always link to the original source and try to include specific statistics that support your argument.
- Use the keyword properly. It’s best to follow the Goldilocks method when it comes to keyword use: not too much, not too little, but just right. Keywords and keyword variations should be used in the titles, headings and first paragraph of your copy. They should also be sprinkled into the content in a natural way, without keyword stuffing .
- Link internally. Keep readers on your website by linking back to past, relevant pages.
Optimizing your content is a job within itself. Regardless of all of the rules and regulations, quality writing will always prevail.
However, continual training will take you to the top of the class.
Expert courses in content strategy teach entrepreneurs and freelance writers the tools they need to develop high-quality branded content.
6. Realize that Learning to Write Never Stops
Once you finish your first, expertly written piece, you’ll be singing Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now,” until you start again.
The good news is you’ll never have to stop. To put it plain and simple, writers never stop writing.
Writing is a consistent skill that needs to be developed.
Think of your newly formed writing mind in the same way as you would six-pack abs. Once you see definition, you don’t just stop and declare you’re done. Do that, and all of your hard work will quickly cease to exist.
Even without deadlines to meet or projects to finish, there are exercises writers can perform to keep their skills in shape. Along with continually writing, for example, by starting a blog or journaling, practice these other tips to stay on par.
7. Become an Avid Reader
Reading constantly sharpens your writing skills.
My nightstand, living room table, living room TV stand, reading room, office… constantly feature a pile of books I have my nose in.
Or, I have Audible up, listening to the latest in leadership, writing, and marketing through my headphones.
Just one of my many reading nooks. This is in the front room we call the “reading room.” The Hogwarts quote completes it perfectly.
I’m always taking the time to read. This helps me so much.
Subscribe to your favorite blog, grab a newspaper or magazine, join a book club and take the time to read them. Exposing yourself to a wide variety of styles broadens your understanding of structure and how other writers choose to express themselves.
Try reading things that you like and don’t like and identify those reasons. What draws you to the lists section of McSweeney’s? Finding out why you like something will set you up to create work that you value.
8. Read About Writing
Though this sounds redundant, learning new skills as a writer will always help you improve. Read about becoming a better writer (I know, shameless plug here) and study those skills like you would for your AP English exam.
9. Make Writing a Group Effort
Seek feedback from peers, coworkers, clients and friends to give you another perspective on your writing. These are the people you are writing for, so asking for feedback is a vital opportunity to find out if your writing is truly engaging.
Conclusion: Learn to Write with Today’s Guide & Don’t Be Afraid to Invest in a Pro if You Need To
By now, you know that writing isn’t easy.
Devoting yourself to learning how to write is quite a feat.
It’s not for the faint of heart.
I’ve written over 1,000 blogs , published two books at a culminative 450+ pages , and written many more words in guest blog content.
I still don’t think writing is easy. (Haha!) But it’s gotten easier for me, by far.
- #1. Practice makes perfect.
- #2. Write. A lot.
And if you need help, our professional writing team is here to back you up! Talk to us about your content needs today — we’d love to help.
Download your Free copy of Learn to Write: The Ultimate Guide to Get You Started
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What Is WriteMyPapers For Students?
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The website openly answers your question, “Who will write my college paper?”. The list of possible solutions is available from the very beginning of your website usage. Moreover, you can get a final price for your order via the calculator. To do that, you need to include the following:
The list of services on the website. Here, you can see a lot of types of papers.
The deadline gap. It will give you a clear image of how fast your work is going to be completed. For example, you can find here an option to receive a paper within 3 hours after placing an order.
The number of pages. The website can work with papers of different volumes.
After filling in all the gaps, you can see that the website will show you the price of your potential order. Such a clear policy is just great for people who would like to see the costs. Overall, the pricing for different orders is reasonable. When we visited the website, we saw that the price of a regular school essay comes to $12 per page, and with a welcoming discount, you are getting a 10% off. Sounds great! But what are the services that we experienced there?
Undergraduate Writing Features
If you are a student at school who would like to use these services on the platform, you will find all the necessary solutions for your writing. In fact, if we try to review everything here, the article will be like a whole dissertation, so we decided to focus on the main services.
Regular school essays of any type. The main point of this service is to save you as much time as possible since there are a lot of essays required to complete when you are a regular school student. However, by ordering one here, you do not even have to think about your topic. You can include only the subject, and the writer will make the topic for you. You just need to provide general recommendations on how you want your essay to be. It is a great option just to order an essay and forget about it.
Reviews. This type of writing is quite popular amongst high schoolers. This is because such a task becomes a simple check that shows you have examined the provided course/book/article/etc. properly. So, if you would like to cover the fact that you did not read or watch the required material, you can order a review.
These services are popular, and on the website, you can find a lot of reviews from customers who use them. The legitimacy of such reviews is proved by including topics, types of papers, and the number of orders. It is a great and simple platform to work on the ‘write a paper for me’ requests.
Working With Higher Academic Level
Higher academic levels are also present here, so if you would like to have assistance with more complicated papers, you can try this website for your needs. The main advantage is that the deadlines here will not be missed even if the tasks are complex. So you can find here:
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As you can see, the website is focused on fulfilling all the demands of students. But what are the extra services that will help you with non-writing tasks?
Additional Services On The Website
If you would like to use this service to find more beneficial services for your other educational needs, you should pay attention to Editing and Calculations. These services of the Write My Essay website are truly brilliant. The platform offers you the following:
Editing. Editing is a great option to find beneficial solutions on how to make your papers stronger. With it, you will be able to see all the possible nuances in your paper, including grammar mistakes, lexical mistakes, and style issues. The editors will use their skills to provide you with pieces of advice on how to enhance the look of your essay, which would be helpful for your further work.
Working with calculations. When you choose this service, you just have to include the subject and give the provided task. The person who will solve the equation will use advanced formulas and, of course, will give you the correct answer.
As you can see, the website is not only focused on writing papers for students but also has a great option to develop your skills. It is a great deal for people who would like to learn more by using professional help.
Why WriteMyPapers Is A Brilliant Option For Making Your Studying Better?
If you are focused on making your studying better but still want to save as much time as possible, you should pay attention to WriteMyPapers. This website is a great option for all users who need writing help. It pays attention to all the minor and major details of completing tasks and gives you only the best and the most unique result possible.
So, if you would like to have much better studying results with much stronger papers, this website will be your #1 solution. “Help me with writing my paper!” is a demand that will definitely be fulfilled by this Write My Papers service.
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15 Practice, practice, practice! The ultimate way to improving writing is to learn what weakens it in the first place, and then set your mind to fixing (and eventually preventing) the glitches. The more you write, edit, and proofread, the better you get at it.
Written by MasterClass Last updated: Nov 24, 2021 • 1 min read Whether you are working with a dedicated editing team at a major publishing house, teaming up with a freelance editor, or are self-publishing your own writing, you’ll want to remember these seven editing tips that apply to all types of writing.
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The students use this interactive version to drag highlighters across their writing to edit. It’s strictly for editing grammar and punctuation. It’s not for revising or editing for theme, voice, or content. It’s called C.U.P.S. Perhaps you’ve heard the acronym before today, but here’s what each letter represents.
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If the top of your to-do list proclaims “LEARN HOW TO WRITE,” you may find yourself staring at an empty Word document watching the cursor blink back at you with disappointment. Learning to write seems like a daunting task when thought of as one goal. A more realistic approach is to break it down into smaller steps along the way. 1.
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