Editing and Proofreading Services

In recent times, our world has become quite competitive and ambitious. With the rise of competitive industrial markets, efficiently written communication has become more critical than ever. An expressive and concisely prepared business document not only reflects professionalism, but also helps in making an affirmative first impression on the prospective business clients. On the other hand, if a business document comes into view as confusing and unclear and does not successfully communicate the intended message, it can most certainly place your reputation at threat and immediately acquire you a tag of being sloppy and unprofessional. The present article on “Editing and Proofreading Services” provides some basic information about professional editing and proofreading services, and also gives detailed information on why to take the help of these professionals.

Why Use Professional Editing and Proofreading Services

Usually, people fail to notice the importance of professional editing and proofreading services. They actually do not realize the values these professional services can attach to their written documents. Ahead of submitting any written document for publication, it is necessary to make sure that it communicates the intended message in the most understandable way as the business documents are an indication of our principles, as well as standards of our association. Therefore, it is always beneficial to take the help of professional editing and proofreading services before publishing our written documents.

Let’s look upon some points so as to why one should necessarily get the help of professional editing and proofreading services.

  • Written communications are of major significance. It is vital for a written document to be understandable and to the point. In case, it is not, there lurks a risk of losing a prospective business client since you were either unable to give enough attention to the details, or your document was unsuccessful in impressing the potential customer or financier.
  • Formerly, companies depended mainly on in-house services for their editing and proofreading requirements. However, because of growing time limitations and competition, companies are now gradually more outsourcing their editing and proofreading requirements to the professional services.
  • In the business world, terms like ‘editing’ and ‘proofreading’ are regularly used interchangeably. However, these two terms can be distinguished given that they focus on dissimilar features of writing. On one hand, editing focuses on the tone and flow of the manuscript. On the other hand, proofreading seeks to certify the rightness of the manuscript. By taking the help of a professional service provider, you can relax confident that both techniques are applied, use of which comes out with an outstandingly written document.
  • Business documents are a lot more vulnerable to mistakes as these documents characteristically involve association. Besides, the majority of business writers work under constraint and have to meet fixed targets. Inappropriate tone, repetition in words or facts, grammatical errors and spelling mistakes are some of the frequent mistakes in business writing. Writers habitually get so absorbed in their work that they often fail to observe those mistakes. Hence, the task must be transferred into the skilled hands of a professional editor and/or proofreader.

Concisely, professional editing and proofreading services can manage the written documents in a more efficient manner than in-house services or using word-processing tools. Accordingly, we will get a wholesome professional representation that eventually develops reliance and reverence. This result must not be undervalued by any business. In fact, it may perhaps be what exists between you and the client you should protect.

Tips on Editing Manuscript

Editing is the foremost step that writers take after completing their first draft. Editing manuscript includes re-reading and revising the first draft several times to ensure that the paper is well-organised, the transitions among paragraphs are even and logical, and the facts and data provided support the subject matter of the paper. The present article ‘tips on editing manuscript’ provides some effective tips and strategies to improve the revision and editing of any written paper.

Effective Tips on Editing Manuscript

Editing manuscript needs careful study and critical assessment. Editing can be done on a number of levels as described below.

Subject-matter

  • Ensure that everything that the assignment needs has been completed.
  • Ensure that all the claims made in the paper are accurate.
  • Ensure that all the claims are consistent and are supported with sufficient proof.
  • Clarify whether the paper is presenting an argument. If yes, then ensure that the argument is complete.
  • Ensure that all the data and information provided in the paper is significant to the assignment and/or writing objective.

General Structure

  • The paper should have a suitable introduction and conclusion.
  • The thesis should be evidently stated in the introduction section.
  • Each and every paragraph of the paper should be associated to the thesis.
  • Ensure that the paragraphs are arranged in a consistent order with a smooth flow between them.
  • In order to check the overall structure of the paper, an outline of the paper can be made after finishing the first draft.

Paragraph Organisation

  • Each paragraph should have a clear and concise topic sentence.
  • Ensure that every paragraph provides adequate details about the concerned topic.
  • Check that there are no irrelevant or misplaced sentences in any of the paragraphs.

Clarity

  • Define and give adequate details about any important term that might seem unclear to the readers.
  • Ensure that the meaning of each sentence is clear and understandable.
  • Check and ensure that each and every pronoun (he/she, it/they, who/which, this/that, etc.) is clear to what it refers to.
  • Choose the correct/appropriate words and phrases to convey your ideas.
  • Avoid using difficult and complex words that aren’t part of your normal vocabulary since they may be misused, thereby destroying the sentence meaning.

Style and Method

  • Check and ensure that the tone (formal/informal/persuasive) used is apt and proper.
  • Vary the length and structure of the sentences in the paper.
  • Avoid the overuse of passive voice in the paper.
  • Avoid the use of superfluous words and phrases, such as ‘there is’, ‘there are’, ‘due to the fact that’, etc.

Citations

  • Quotes, paraphrases, facts and information taken from different sources should be cited appropriately.
  • Ensure that the citations are in the proper format.

By following the above given tips on editing manuscript, you can learn to make considerable modifications and corrections in the subject-matter and wording of your paper. Tips on editing manuscript provide the basic guidelines and strategies to identify the patterns of error and correcting them effectively. After identifying the patterns of error, one can develop methods for spotting and correcting further occurrences of that pattern.

Public Writing on the Web

Multimedia

 

First and foremost, we must keep it in our mind that websites are addressed to users rather than readers. In other words, they must provide information in such a way that it is consistent with the nature of their medium, as well as makes full use of the medium’s resources. Digital capabilities are often grouped under the supportive term multimedia. The multimedia includes text, graphics, sound, video and animation. The potential of multimedia is increasingly being recognized and utilized in most areas of communication, like education, entertainment, business, etc. In fact, new fields of communication have emerged through the use of multimedia applications, such as the creative combination of educational, information and entertainment techniques that has come to be known as edutainment and infotainment. The fact that the digital medium is actually a collection of different media capabilities gives the web designer a singular task to coordinate the different media and produce, through their combination, an effective and compelling result. However, the technology for graphics, sound, video and animation is constantly changing. In this regard, a necessity arises to focus more on the text, about which we will discuss in our next blog.

Print vs. Electronic Writing

Strengths of Print Writing

  • We can read printed documents much easily than electronic ones. Reading online increases reading time by about 25%. This is because the visual resolution of a printed material is about 250 times sharper than the computer screen.
  • Print media offers more portability. We can read a book/newspaper/magazine anywhere without the hassle of hardware.
  • Print materials are faster to skim through. They can also be easily shuffled compared to online pages.
  • It is easier to underline or highlight something on paper.

 

Strengths of Electronic Writing

  • Generally, online publishing is more cost effective than print publishing.
  • Online publishing provides more scope for experimenting with style and space.
  • Colors appear more bright in online pages (use RGB) compared to print pages (use CMYK).
  • It is much easier to edit or update online content. It can be done with just a few clicks. In print media, for updating any information, the whole thing needs to be reprinted, which increases expenditure.
  • The use of multimedia helps to present online materials in a much more pleasing and entertaining manner.

Electronic writing offers more interactivity. For example, in surveys, people respond more readily to online requests.

INTERNET AND WORLD WIDE WEB

In our day-to-day life, we often confuse the Internet with the World Wide Web. However, they both differ to some extent. The internet includes the web, as well as it is the infrastructure level of the medium, including services such as email, etc. On the other hand, the web is the public face of the internet medium, where users access information about products and services by visiting their respective websites.

It is quite necessary to remember that the internet is just a medium and not a document type. It provides the means of transmission and exchange of information presented in different document types. For example, we can’t sent a report via email as an attachment, or post it as a portable document format (pdf) on a site. The document would still be a report, regardless of its medium of transmission. In other words, while composing it, we should follow the conventions and expectations of report writing. Microsoft word, for instance, creates documents that are generally intended to be read in printed form or hard copy, even though they have been created and maybe even sent in a digital medium.

Digital media

Internet provides high visibility at very low cost, making it the most effective and fastest means of global communication. In the age of internet communication, a basic knowledge of the workings of the computer and internet is very necessary for all business environments.

The internet is a storehouse of information and a powerful medium of information distribution. In the present world of information technology knowledge of how the computer works is very important.

The computer is divided into three parts, the hardware, the operating system and software.

The hardware is the actual electronic part of the computer which includes memory, hard drive capacity, different drives or storage space (e.g. CD-ROM, DVD, etc.) and screen.

The powerful the hardware the higher level of work the computer can perform for e.g. for multimedia applications, one needs a computer with large hard drive and minimum megabytes (MB) of memory.

The operating system (OS), or platform, determines general functionality (how the computer works) and interface ( what the design of the screen looks like) It also determines the kind of software that can be installed and run in the computer.

To connect to the Internet, one needs a browser and an ISP (Internet Service Provider). The browser is the software that allows the computer to access data on the World Wide Web; for example, Internet Explorer, Firefox , Google chrome are very popular browsers. The Internet is actually a huge centreless network of computers connected through individual servers – the part of a company’s computer network that connects directly to the Internet. For an individual user, one needs a provider that has a server in order to connect (usually at a set fee). Companies and institutions have their own servers. The web address or URL, Uniform Resource Locator is actually a link to a server. If one wants to publish any material on the Internet, such as a website, one needs a server to host your site.

SUBMITTING AN ARTICLE FOR PUBLICATION

SUBMITTING AN ARTICLE FOR PUBLICATION

 

While deciding to submit an article to a magazine for publication, make sure you are familiar with the topics and styles of your chosen magazine. You have a higher chance of having your article accepted if it fits with the ‘culture’ of the magazine. All magazines have details of the editor, so if you cannot find submission guidelines, contact the editor to request them. This is the editor’s job and, besides, most magazines are looking for fresh ideas and new writers. In most cases, you will be required to submit a proposal summarizing your article, and noting its significance and the types of readers it is likely to interest.

In order to familiarize yourself with the stylistic conventions of your chosen magazine, follow these steps:

1. Read carefully each article in recent issues of the magazine. Note the basic question or issue that they deal with and trace the ways that they answer it.

2. Notice the tone of the articles. Is it humorous? Serious? Technical? Chatty? This will give you a hint on what tone to give your own article.

3. Notice the use of research. Have the writers conducted primary research, such as interviewing people, or are most articles based on secondary research, the consultation of written sources? How many quotations do the articles use? How much information is paraphrased, i.e., written in the writer’s own words?

4. Notice the use of pronouns (‘I’, ‘you’, ‘we’, etc.). Are articles written mostly in an impersonal, objective style or do they rely heavily on personal comment? How does the writer refer to him/herself? Does s/he use personal pronouns?

5. Notice the leads and ties. How long and snappy are they? Do the articles rely strongly on leads to ‘bait’ the reader, or are other elements, such as pictures or quotations of famous speakers, more prominent?

6. Underline the first sentence in each paragraph. They should form a step-by-step sequence. Then note the cohesion that the writers have used: the linking words and phrases within paragraphs and the transitions from one paragraph to the next. Often the same words or ideas will be repeated in the last sentence of one paragraph and the first sentence of the next.

7.  Notice how the articles develop their theme. Is the article structured chronologically, developmentally, by alternating examples, point by point? How did the writer build the organizational structure to answer the title’s question?

8.  What techniques does the writer use to make the article both informative and appealing? E.g., does s/he use analogies, anecdotal examples, metaphors, personal stories, rhetorical questions, direct questions to the readers, etc.?

9.  Notice the title. It may have been changed by the editor; nevertheless, how does it reflect the article? Does it tease, quote, state facts? What technique does the writer use to make the reader want to read the article?

10.  Look at para-textual elements, such as visuals, pullquotes, subheads, etc. Although the editor may have produced these, you can still get an idea of the type of ‘framing’ that the magazine requires, and this will give you some tips on what types of information the editors consider important.

Leads, hooks and ties in professional writing

Scientific and business magazines do not develop in a linear fashion like a news report. These articles differ from a news report in that they need not provide background or justify assertions. These articles are subjective and tell describe to the readers what the writer wants to say about a topic.

A magazine article plunges straight into the description of the product or discovery without wasting too much time in building the background.

The scientific and business article, discusses, immediately showing its relevance to the interests or needs of the reader. It then goes on to present different angles of the topic, starting with the most important and continuing in lessening in importance. It may end abruptly, or with one or two sentences with a comment, opinion or evaluative remark to the preceding discussion.

A magazine reader wants to be slowly pulled into reading an article. The lead is the opening statement that should attract the reader to the article. Its job is to relate the main topic to the reader’s general interests and experience.

A hook is similar to a lead, although it is usually more ‘spicy’ or provocative than a lead. A hook is like a bait to tempt the reader to carry on reading. Avoid abstractions and technical jargon.

A good lead starts by stating a fact and then asking a question about this fact from the reader’s point of view. It then goes on to overview the specifics of what the article will discuss and ends with a statement on the purpose of the article.

Sometimes a short narrative is also used as a lead. The rest of the article is a detailed description of the topic to be discussed.

The tie is an optional device at the end of the article with a comment or question summing up the writer’s attitude towards the topic.

Integrating Quotations in Professional Writing

Quotations are key elements in any kind of writing. In formal writing, they may have a secondary function, but, in journalistic writing, facts and ideas revolve around quotations. Journalists aim to report stories, which are of importance and interest to the readers. Quotations lend credibility to their writing, give voice to the people represented, and add color to the facts. In formal writing, a sentence begins in normal tone and ends with a quotation. In journalistic writing, sentence begins with a quotation and ends with a comment on it. There is another notable difference between formal and journalistic writing. In formal writing, the sources (full references) of the quotations are placed either as footnotes (bottom of each page) or at the end of the text as a Reference List. On the other hand, in journalistic writing, the person’s name and affiliation are preferably mentioned in the sentence itself. Each quotation should be followed by its analysis, usually in one or more sentences, explaining why it is interesting and its significance. If the quotation is quite long and complex, it should be followed-up with a brief summary, which explains in what manner it helps your cause. Quotations (when used in a proper way) lend persuasion and strength to your main argument. However, one thing must be kept in mind; quotations can only supplement your argument, they should not be treated as the main argument.

DEVELOPING A FEATURE ARTICLE

A feature article is composed in order to explain how something works or is developed over time, informing the public of something new and/or important, and interpreting complex information in an understandable and appealing way. Basically, you may be doing one or more of the following:

  • describing the parts of your object and their interrelationships,
  • tracing the history of the object and describing its changes,
  • describing the object’s qualities and characteristics, and
  • analysing the object’s value.

To achieve this effectively, use a combination of the following strategies.

(1) Define terms and differentiate them from other similar ones. This is very useful while writing about a large topic with many subdivisions, aspects and categories. By defining it, you are specifying the parameters in which you will explain it. Consider using sentence or paragraph-length definitions for complicated topics, and parenthetical definitions for less complicated ones.

(2) Give an analogy. For example, using the same principle as an overhead projector, an epidiascope projects three-dimensional images onto a screen using a magnified beam of light. This gives the reader the gist of what you are saying and makes complicated terms and processes easier to grasp. In the same light, you can contrast the term to what it is opposite to or different from.

(3) Give examples that illustrate the functions or properties of the topic you are explaining. This helps the reader put the topic in context and thus relate to it better.

(4) Compare the topic with others to show its special features or common attributes. As with analogies, comparisons are useful in helping the reader classify the topic in a category with which s/he is familiar, and/or to understand the innovation or specific nature of the described object.

(5) Describe the properties/qualities of an object or situation and detail how it works or how it occurs and under what circumstances.

(6) Suggest reasons for a situation or development. This is useful when you think the reader is likely to ask the question ‘why’. It justifies a current state of affairs by explaining what caused it to come into being.

(7) Tell a story that illustrates your discussion. This is useful in making conceptual information more concrete by describing a ‘physical’ situation where the ideas you are talking about were at play. Stories are very effective in assisting the reader to visualise and, therefore, to better understand, your description.

(8) Describe a process. This is a way to show how something is done, a protocol or procedure. Describing processes also comes into play when giving instructions on how to conduct a task.

(9) Describe applications. This emphasises the practical aspects of research, by showing how inventions and discoveries can be used in everyday life.

(10) Use visual aids, such as a diagram or photograph. If you choose this strategy, make sure you explain in your text what the visual is intended to show and how it fits in your written explanation. To avoid digressing from your text to explain a diagram, consider using side-bars that contain visuals and text, and provide self-sufficient information that complements the information presented in the body of the article.