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Ten revision tips: make your editing more efficient


Most people hate revision almost as much as they hate first drafts. Why? Because they try to do everything at once. Revising from the first sentence on down only produces headaches. Instead, break editing into manageable, result-driven tasks and it can become, well, fun.

1. Run a fancy-schmancy style check

Go to your word processing program’s “style” spell check options and select any/all of the following:

Tip: You can use the online writing checker I’ve developed, It helps find wordiness, mumbo-jumbo, lack of transitions, passive voice, and grammar problems.

2. We’re all too wordy. Cut the fluff.

It doesn’t matter how great your ideas are, before a final draft you can always make your writing leaner and meaner.

3. Take all your topic sentences, copy and paste them next to each other, and read through for flow

4. Run a “readability” test in MS Word

Ways to make your writing more readable:

5. Check your writing style DNA

Use the “Find” function (CTRL-F) to search for words or phrases you habitually use too much (However? In other words? Women? The internet?) and replace them with synonyms – this can actually make your ideas more sophisticated

6. Check sentence length

Use the “Find function (CTRL-F) to display your essay sentence by sentence. If all your sentences are the same length, shorten some and lengthen others. This makes your writing both more readable and gives you a second chance to use sentence style to reinforce your meaning.

7. Highlight sentences/phrases/words you need to fix

8. Type notes to yourself for material that needs to be added, then save the writing for later and keep moving

Therefore, instead of banning the fast food, the government should focus on adjusting the ingredient and portion of the food of all restaurants, not only the fast food restaurants, and educate people better about what is healthy to eat. The City of New York took different approach to fight the people’s health problems than the City of Los Angeles [explain more about why this might only work in big cities like New York]The City of New York decided to regulate restaurants to provide calorie counts on the menus and this seems to be more effective than simply banning restaurants.

9. Highlight words that need to be replaced

In first drafts we often don’t use the precise word to describe things since we’re focusing on our ideas. Final drafts give you a chance to be exact.

10. Before you turn in your paper