How to Edit Your Own Technical Texts
It doesn’t matter what you write — posts for social networks, scientific papers, or a novel: thoughtful editing is key to any high — quality text. The ability to edit your text is just as important as the ability to write it.
Write a Draft
Even if you write well, the first version of the text should not be final. As a concise response to someone’s sarcastic comment or the right argument in a dispute appears later than necessary, so the ideal formulation may not immediately come to mind. Instead, the text allows you to say exactly what you meant this time.
Avoid Typical Stylistic Errors
Avoid the following mistakes:
- Cliche. A cliche is a formulaic and stereotypical expression that has been used so often that everyone is already tired of it. “In the best traditions,” “rich experience,” “unique,” and “exclusive’’ — such words make the text weak and dull. If you are not sure what a cliche is in front of you, it’s better to just replace the phrase. Also, cliches become memes very quickly.
- Passive voice. “This article was written by John” and “John wrote the article” do you feel the difference? The text written in passive form becomes longer, making it more difficult for the reader to understand who the actor is.
- Lengthy sentences. When unsure what to say, it’s easy to avoid direct wording by writing three different appendices. But it’s better to say it repeatedly than beat around the bush. Do not shy away from the topic and shorten the paragraph to one brief and complete phrase.
Do Not Edit the Draft Immediately After Writing
Working on the text for a long time, you lose attention and stop noticing mistakes. Give yourself time, rest, and switch, and then start editing again. The longer you can leave the draft alone, the better. Wait at least 10 minutes — this will also work.
Read the Text Aloud
When you read a text aloud, you hear all its weaknesses: repetitions, typos, or a lost tempo. If you stumble at some point, rewrite it; otherwise, the reader will be in your place. Some authors even print out their drafts and edit them with a red pen to bring the text to perfection.
Pay Attention to the Beginning
The beginning is the most crucial part. You won’t have another chance if you don’t attract the reader right away. It is not so important whether you write a novel or a working letter. You must devote a little more time to the first sentences or paragraphs. Many errors that no one will notice in the middle may fail you at the very beginning.
A professional writer is not one who is not mistaken but one who can check the text and correct it. Therefore, check all the points that you doubt. Gradually, you will forget about a lot of mistakes.
“Follow the river and you will get to the sea.”