Tips on Editing An Article

Posted on 28 June 2012 by Karima Khan

This article is for all those who want to be writers as it aims to help you understand how you can edit an article and make it crisp and worth reading.
Here are some editing rules that you need to keep in mind:
Rule #1:
Collect all the information you need to write about the topic and jot it all down on paper.
Also, make sure you are in a silent environment. Ideally, it should be you, your paper, your pen and your head bursting with ideas.

Rule #2:

After you’re done brainstorming and writing down your initial ideas, align them in a particular order; the order being: Head, Body and Conclusion.
Every great article has a catchy beginning, a comprehensive middle and a satisfying conclusion. Your reader mustn’t feel that there was ‘something missing’ in the article.

Rule #3:
Now you must edit your article. Cut out all that you think is unimportant. Stay within the prescribed word limit. Make sure the content is crisp, to the point and relevant. Do not stray from the topic.

Rule #4:
Do not use short forms unless necessary. If you do use them, make sure you specify what the abbreviation stands for.
Example, IPL (Indian Premier League), APMC Market, Vashi (Agricultural Produce Market Committee)

Rule #5:
Don’t use short messaging service (SMS) language. Writing stuff like ‘Lyk, IDK!, LOL, FYI, DYN’ is unacceptable. Use of the words ‘like’, ‘I mean’, ‘etc’, ‘whatever’, ‘as if’ should be kept to a minimum.

Rule #6:
Learn the usage of Terminal Marks [ ! ? . ] and Secondary Bound Marks [ : ; , – ]

  1. An exclamation question like, ‘Harry! Are you alright?!’ will always have the use of ‘?’ followed by ‘!’ and not vice-versa. However, such usage is considered informal.
  2. ‘:’ is used to introduce a list of extract or quotation that follows an introductory sentence, or to denote hours and minutes, etc.
  3. ‘;’ is used to separate two independent thoughts in a sentence lessening the use of conjunctions.

Rule #7:
You can always fill make use of quotes and examples that will make your article interesting and keep your reader hooked.

Rule #8:
Re-read your article multiple times to ensure that you haven’t made any mistakes.

Rule #9:
For honing your writing skills, read newspapers, magazines and internet articles.
In fact, don’t just read but learn from them – the words they use, the flow of the story, the separation between paragraphs etc.

Rule #10:
Enjoy the process!

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