Common editing/proofreading errors … to avoid

Here are some of the commonest editing/proofreading errors I encounter when working on books, articles, etc.  Some of the editing/proofreading “rules” I suggest are fairly widely accepted, in other cases what really matters is having consistency across your document.  Tell me what you think of these… 1980s not 1980’s – the latter used to be common practice, but by and large have been dropped. MPs not MP’s – ditto. Abbreviations and...

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Punctuation explained – Simply

The paragraphs below explain each of the main types of punctuation.  But the punctuation is missing.  By doing this exercise you will therefore learn not only where and what type of punctuation to use, but also get practice in using it.  My suggested answers are given at the foot of the blog. Commas are used in lists of things to clarify meaning after introductory words and phrases like however (at the start or mid-sentence) when providing...

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Tips for writing emails … Avoid P-E-S-T (and other advice)

Tips for writing emails … Avoid P-E-S-T (and other advice)

Emails are great… but because of where and how we use them, it is easy to make mistakes.  Read on for may advice. Don’t let emails be a P-E-S-T P ressure of workplaces makes us over hasty when sending emails – or not check and work, and therefore make mistakes. E motions are hard to convey in text, and can easily be misread by readers who don’t know us etc.  So, don’t email when annoyed, nor late at night/end of...

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Books I have enjoyed in 2016-17

One way to improve your writing skills is to read quality, well written books.  Here are a few books that I read and enjoyed in 2016.  They come with my recommendation (I ditched about half as many again).  Let me know what you think of them. The books marked * are relatively new (the Burnet book was on the Booker Prize shortlist in 2016); the others are older … but they are all worth reading. I know why the caged bird sings – Maya...

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Effective Editing – My 5 A’s for better editing

Here are my 5 A’s of how to edit more effectively: Accept that editing is a normal and necessary part of the writing process.  Quality writing takes time – not even great writers get it right straight away.  I often tell people they should be prepared (and it is normal) for editing to take 20-30% of the total time for getting a text written and completed. Antennae – To heighten you awareness, read your text aloud, read it...

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When editing …

Editing is an essential part of any writing job – it is entirely natural to require more than two drafts.  Who gets a piece of writing right first time?  So here are 5 general tips to guide you in your editing. 1.) Give editing sufficient time I often say to people that they should expect editing to take 20–30% of the total time they take to write something.  Why so much?  Because we don’t get the words out right first time, we...

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