Writing is just the first step. The key to successful pieces of writing is editing and refinement. The following four steps will help you to produce clear, concise and convincing written work.
- Print off your work
It’s easy to overlook spelling or grammar mistakes when you read something on screen – especially if you wrote it. Printing off a copy of your written work will allow you to approach it from a new perspective. I also suggest moving to a different room, having a quick break or even going for a short walk, before you revisit it
- Read aloud to yourself
Reading aloud helps you to step into the reader’s shoes for a minute and pick up mistakes – such as clumsy wording and long paragraphs. If you find yourself fumbling over parts of your writing, you may need to revisit them.
- Go crazy with the red pen
Edit as much as you like, and note anything you might want to change; you can re-evaluate it once you get back to the computer. You don’t need to use professional proofreading marks, just ensure you understand the changes you want to make.
- Get a colleague or friend to read over it
It’s always helpful to get a fresh set of eyes to look over your work. Not only will a friend or colleague be able to pick up on some of the spelling and grammar mistakes that you have missed, but they will also be able to tell you whether your work is clear and concise, and whether it’s achieving its goal.