Sunday, March 10, 2024

Content material Proofreading and Modifying Ideas

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Have you ever ever worn a knit cap with a baseball hat on prime of it?

In all probability not. Not solely wouldn’t it look odd, however it might really feel uncomfortable.

But, many content material entrepreneurs try and do one thing comparable each time they assessment a bit of content material, appearing as each editor and proofreader.

However enhancing and proofing will not be the identical – even with AI assists. And by treating them as a single hat, you create an uncomfortable expertise on your viewers.

You’ll be able to’t adequately edit and proofread on the identical time, says @AnnGynn through @CMIContent. Click on To Tweet

Even the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics acknowledges proofreaders as distinct from editors. Its description of proofreaders’ duties contains: “Learn transcript or proof sort setup to detect and mark for correction any grammatical, typographical, or compositional errors. Excludes staff whose major responsibility is enhancing copy.

What’s the distinction?

Let’s have an authoritative useful resource clarify. Grammarly says:

“Copy enhancing takes place after a substantive edit however earlier than proofreading. The target of copy enhancing is to shine the copy in order that it’s clear whereas retaining the writer’s voice and that means … [Copy editors] comb by means of a written work to establish and proper grammar, spelling, tone and magnificence deviations, wordiness, clunky transitions, complicated syntax, problematic or misused phrases, and an uneven movement.”

In distinction, proofreaders assessment the content material after it has gone by means of the enhancing course of. They scrutinize the content material in its completed and almost-published state to catch any typographical or minor errors that weren’t fastened within the enhancing course of or have been created within the manufacturing course of.

TIP: For those who put on a proofreader hat for some tasks and an editor’s hat for others, don’t try and do one proper after the opposite. Take a break. Train your mind with a non-word exercise. For those who don’t take a breather, you’re prone to be carrying each your proofer and editor’s hats – and the content material assessment can be messy and unfocused.

Easy methods to edit properly

Along with your editor’s hat on, observe this five-step course of:

  1. Be sure to perceive the general goal of the piece of content material for the viewers and the model earlier than you learn the primary phrase.

TIP: Require content material creators to write down one or two sentences on the prime of the content material to elucidate to the editor who the supposed viewers is and why the content material was created.

  1. Learn by means of the content material as a reader would – arms off the keyboard besides to scroll. (If reviewing in print kind, maintain the pen out of your arms.)
  2. Undergo the content material once more as an editor. Put your arms on the keyboard (or pen in hand) and observe the place the content material doesn’t work properly and why. Does the opening seize the reader’s consideration? Is the content material targeted on a singular theme all through the piece? Can each sentence and paragraph be understood? Does the order of the content material movement logically? Does the content material signify the model’s voice and magnificence?
  3. Pause, then edit. Relying in your course of, if the wanted adjustments are vital, return the marked-up content material to the author for revision. Use an AI enhancing instrument, whether or not the built-in one supplied by Microsoft or an add-on extension like Grammarly. Look solely on the editing-related counsel and contemplate if they’d enhance the piece. If the content material gained’t be going again to the author, go forward and make the adjustments.
  4. Learn by means of a remaining time to make sure that the content material reads properly from the viewers and model’s perspective.

TIP: For those who revise the content material considerably, return to the author, particularly if the article features a byline, to be sure you edited it precisely.

With the content material in fine condition from a readability perspective, now you can scrutinize different components of the content material. It is best to:

  • Guarantee factual correctness and correct credit score. If the content material contains analysis, statistics, opinions, or quotes, be sure they’re correct and attributed appropriately. In digital kind, be sure hyperlinks go to the unique supply of data (to not one other submit quoting the unique content material).
  • Do the mathematics. If the content material contains numbers, be sure they add up appropriately. For instance, if an article about favourite ice cream flavors contains the sentence: “70% agree chocolate ice cream is best than vanilla,” the subsequent sentence shouldn’t be “one-third favor vanilla over chocolate.” The maths doesn’t add up.

Editors: If the #content material contains numbers, be sure they add up appropriately, advises @AnnGynn through @CMIContent. Click on To Tweet

  • Evaluate together with your model information in view. Scrutinize the copy to ensure it follows your model’s model information and chosen dictionary. For instance, the CMI Fashion Information is the AP Fashion Information with some minor model customizations.

TIP: Create checklists for enhancing and proofreading to make sure that every step is accomplished. When somebody should bodily test off an merchandise from a listing, they’re extra prone to do it. Plus, checklists famous with the editor and proofreader’s names function a useful tracker for every bit of content material.

Easy methods to be a very good proofreader

Within the proofreading stage, the work is fastidious. A proofreader shouldn’t assessment the content material only one time and anticipate to catch all the things that wants fixing. Like enhancing, proofreading is a multi-step course of. Every of those steps requires its personal studying of the piece of content material:

  1. Evaluate for movement and understanding. Although the enhancing course of ought to have taken care of any issues on this space, proofreaders should learn by means of the content material for their very own understanding to correctly assessment the content material. If flaws are discovered at this level, be sure to handle and repair them, ideally with enter from the editor.
  2. Learn every sentence for correct grammar. That is what most individuals contemplate proofreading – the subject-match-the-verb stuff.
  3. Test the spelling of every phrase. This sounds simpler than it’s. For those who spell-check the identical method you learn (prime to backside, left to proper), you’re much less prone to catch errors as a result of your mind remains to be studying for comprehension. Begin with the final phrase within the content material and work your method as much as the highest, checking every phrase’s spelling as you do.

Proofreading Tip: Spell-check by beginning with the final phrase within the #content material work your method as much as the highest of the web page, says @AnnGynn through @CMIContent. Click on To Tweet

  1. Consider the content material in revealed kind. Evaluate the content material to ensure it seems the best way it was supposed. Do all of the subheads observe the identical typography? Are there any awkward line breaks? Does the content material match the desk of contents? Do all of the hyperlinks work?

TIP: Proofreaders ought to doc the errors they discover greater than as soon as. Share that data with the author and editor to stop (or at the very least decrease) future occurrences.

NOTE: In case your crew solely has the sources for a single particular person to deal with enhancing and proofreading duties, that’s OK. Simply be sure to create a manufacturing schedule that at the very least permits for enhancing and proofreading to occur on separate days. You can even use instruments just like the Hemingway App and Grammarly to assist in the enhancing and proofreading course of.

Use instruments like @HemingwayApp and @Grammarly to assist in the enhancing and proofreading course of, says @AnnGynn through @CMIContent. #Instruments Click on To Tweet

Go forth to edit AND proofread

By carrying your enhancing and proofreading hats at completely different instances, you’ll enhance your content material outcomes. You’ll additionally keep away from spending time on massive issues that come up from poor enhancing and poor proofreading (lack of curiosity and belief in your model’s content material, for instance, which in the end results in fewer readers).

Up to date from an April 2021 submit.

Please observe: All instruments talked about on this article have been advised by the writer. For those who’d prefer to recommend a instrument, share the article on social media with a remark.

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Cowl picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content material Advertising and marketing Institute

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