One of the main reasons why articles are declined by article directories is because the writer has not taken the time to bother to proofread it. No professional writer, journalist or author would even dream of handing in writing without having first read through it and made alterations and corrections, yet many would-be article marketers simply blast out a few words and toss them onto the web for the world to see without so much as having run a quick spell-check.
Proofreading and editing articles may not be as exciting as writing down your ideas and seeing the traffic roll in as a result, but if you don't edit your article, then it's unlikely to be published. Even if it is, it's unlikely to have the effect you're hoping for.
When I write an article I don't even look at the screen, making sure I'm not distracted by spellings, typos, and other issues. It's only when I have finished writing the article I go and make a cup of tea, then come back to it, read through it carefully and critically, editing it and correcting it until I'm happy that it can be released into the wild. Here are 5 top tips to help you edit your articles.
1. Spellcheckers and grammar checkers. Most word processing software these days includes comprehensive spell-checking capabilities, and even if yours doesn't, there are several free spellcheckers online. There's really no excuse for not using an automated spellchecker to quickly pick up on silly spelling mistakes and typing errors. Grammar checks can also prove useful in highlighting certain errors. However, be very aware that spellcheckers and grammar checkers are not perfect, and that whilst they are valuable tools, they should never be relied upon exclusively. For example, a spellchecker won't point out when you've typed 'put' instead of 'but', and so is no substitute for manually spellchecking your article yourself.
2. Don't forget your title. Sometimes it can be easy to write an entire article and forget what your title was. You can sometimes find yourself getting a little sidetracked, or taking a different path, resulting in an article which is somewhat at odds with your title. When it comes to editing your article, read your title first, and make sure your article actually addresses it. If it doesn't, then be prepared to either edit your article or your title in order to make sure that they are suitable connected.
3. Read it aloud. A good tip is to read your article aloud, or if you have someone who can read it aloud for you even better. Reading an article aloud is often very helpful as it more accurately highlights poor or confusing sentence structure, overlong sentences, poor construction of the use of the wrong word.
4. Be prepared to delete fluff. When reading and editing your article, be prepared to be ruthless. Perhaps there was a really clever little sentence, phrase or metaphor which you included, but which actually doesn't add anything to your article at all. When you go through your article, try not to be too protective over some of your phrases and descriptions. If a sentence adds nothing to the article except flowery fluff, get rid of it. Sometimes the only way to improve your article is to get rid of some of it.
5. Get the red pen out. Another useful tip is to print your article out and use a pen to correct it. Sometimes it can be difficult to edit an article on the screen, as there's a natural barrier between you and the words. By printing your article and getting a pen out there's no barrier, and you can sometimes feel a little more free to edit it.
Depending on how quickly you can type your article you should generally be looking at spending at least half as long again on the editing. Sometimes people take several times as long to edit an article to write it. It's worth remembering that it may only take you a few minutes to edit an article, but that article could be on the internet, representing your business brand for many years. If it's worth doing, it's worth doing properly.
Need help? editing academic articles
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