Why Editing Matters?

Why Editing Matters?

Why editing matters ? Has this question crossed your mind?  How many times have you come across a written piece in a newspaper, magazine, webpage or even a book and wondered where are the editors? It goes without saying that a single typographical error in a reading can hamper the writer’s as well as the publication’s reputation. Though, in this case the editors may not be at fault. Perhaps, the editors had done their best and the error was the result of a misprint. Nevertheless, there’s no denying the fact that errors hamper the flow of any written piece and are a source of discomfit for readers.

The point in this article is not to highlight how even in the best writing we can find scope for editing, but how better editing can bring the best out of any piece of writing.

Some Points on Why Editing Matters?

One of the vital aspects of writing is editing. Many a time editing becomes more effective when it is done by others. Most writers get their work edited by professional editors. This is because there are instances when you may not notice obvious errors in your own writing because you are reading what you are thinking, and not what is written. Writers are so engrossed with their own ideas and creations that they cannot discover even basic errors and typos from their manuscripts. That is why even the best writers have their work verified by professional editors.

So, what’s special about professional editors? Professional editors are trained to notice errors in a document and modify it appropriately to improve it to the acceptable standard. In other words, they have an excellent eye for detail that enables them to detect even the smallest of errors.

A professional editor is also a specialist editor, who alters the structure and content of a piece of writing, as they know what works and what doesn’t. Perhaps, this is the reason why editors are so highly regarded in the world of publishing and considered the real catalysts behind any publications’ success. A professional editor can bring more clarity and readability to a text by rephrasing sentences and reordering words. This makes the reading unambiguous and lucid thus ensuing the smooth flow of ideas offered in the content. In addition, substantive editing done by professional editors eliminates spelling and punctuation mistakes, errors in grammar and syntax, while also improving the style and rhythm of the text.

 

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.

Content Development

Content is the most essential part of any blog or website. In order to make the content interesting for the readers, the content needs to be exceptional and simultaneously creative. Readability of any content is determined by how the content has been developed. Content development is a chief factor of content writing and more or less content that is reasonable, appropriate and convincing.

The present article on “Content Development” provides some basic tips to keep in mind, and hopefully, even follow them while writing any content for blogs, websites, etc. to come out with an exceptional piece of work.

Tips for Content Development

  • There exist certain features that manage the prospective of good quality content. Basically, it is a three step procedure. The first is to identify the target reader or audience, second is to write the content in a convincing manner, and third is to make use of appropriate keywords in the content.
  • While searching on the internet for a certain topic or a subject matter, we usually come across numerous websites and blogs related to the same topic and material. But what renders a particular webpage separate from others is its content development.
  • While writing content for any webpage or website, it is essential to dedicate a sufficient amount of time and explore into the subject matter to come about with significant content.
  • While writing content, ensure that the content you are writing is directed towards the anticipated reader/audience. In other words, the reader must find the content valuable enough to read it till the last part.
  • In order to improve readability of the content, try to use standard English as far as possible. Avoid using jargons or other difficult words and phrases for enabling the reader to understand the content easily. However, one can always put efforts in making the content appealing and engaging.
  • Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors can be serious negative aspects of any content. So, it is always advantageous to proofread the content before publishing or putting it online.
  • Depending on the topic one is writing the content on, the language can be formal or informal. However, make sure that the language is realistic and persuasive.
  • When a reader is searching some information on the internet, he/she types in specific keywords on a search-engine and is thus presented with links for the related webpages that have those keywords in their content. Therefore, it is always advised to insert some suitable keywords while developing the content. Doing so helps in improving the page rank of the webpage, and thus, develops the content readability.

Apart from all the above mentioned points, the most important point to be taken into account while content development is that the content must communicate a specific message, so that the reader realises the content to be worth reading.

Overcome a Writer’s Block

Every writer has a dream of writing such a book that draws the attention and admiration of the right audience. Nonetheless, even the prominent writers cannot give surety about excellence in their writings or literary works. In the world of literature, writer’s block has been identified as the most unpleasant enemy of authors. Writer’s block is nothing but the obstacle that gets in the way of the writers while producing a great piece of work. The present article on “Overcome a Writer’s Block” provides some general knowledge and points that will help you to understand the basic concept of a writer’s block and how to overcome it in the future.

How to overcome a writer’s block

Meaning of writer’s block

  • Although not everyone believes in the concept of a writer’s block, there are some writers who do experience problems while writing at some point or other.
  • This is the point where a writer thinks that there is basically no way for him to start writing. He feels as if he is trapped in the centre of his plot and cannot move ahead.
  • Writer’s block may occur due to the panic and nervousness usually experienced by writers. It is that phase when a writer, even when he wants to write, cannot seem to understand how to start.
  • Even though he knows that he has adequate information, he still remains doubtful whether he has all the facts to sustain it. In such situations, the writer doubts his own abilities to express his opinions in words even though he believes that he can produce an impressive book.
  • Despite all these perplexing thoughts, which are more or less normal for a writer; there are certainly some ways by which a writer’s block can be defeated.

Source of inspiration

  • Do not get distracted by others or what they might say about your book. No one would expect a writer to write a perfect book in an hour or so. Therefore, take your time to come up with some wonderful ideas.
  • For some writers, inspiration is the way to overcome a writer’s block. While for some writers their friends and family, relationships, nature, etc. are the source of inspiration.
  • Inspiration might not be the best method to overcome a writer’s block for all writers. Thus, while writing, you need to have an exceptional approach to overcome your writer’s block.

Change in setting

  • Sometimes, sitting in front of the laptop for a long time may seem boring and dull. Therefore, changing to a new setting or environment might help you in refreshing your mind and thinking better.
  • Every writer should try some different approach or new surroundings from time-to-time so as to enliven his spirits and come up with new ideas for the story.

Revisit the fundamentals

  • Do not waste time on trivial matters. Rather, concentrate on the present problem of the writer’s block and how to overcome it. So that you can continue to work and complete it.
  • If you still feel trapped by your dreary moments even after doing all these different ways; do not worry, as there always is the fundamental writing guide coming up for you.
  • Try to follow the basics of writing. These include, setting your characters, picturing out what happens, and putting events in a proper place. As long as you have these basics on your screen, you can be sure that you are on the correct position to explore the events to compose a narrative.

Escape from the routine

  • In case, the fundamentals do not work for you; you can probably think of some other method. Try to get away from the routine and usual.
  • Try writing the climax and the conclusion of the story first. Next, decide on the most appropriate title according to what you have already written. Then, from the title, you can proceed writing the introduction.
  • One doesn’t always need faultless procedural skills to make a writing work excellent. What it actually needs is an exceptional writing skill, which can convert plain words, characters and places into magnificent ventures in the form of a masterpiece.

Perfect writing doesn’t necessarily follow any standards. Each writer has his unique approach towards writing. No matter how successful a writer is, sometimes he too needs to be guided in some ways so as to minimize or totally remove the panic inside him. By following the above mentioned points, you will not only understand the basic concept of a writer’s block, but also how to overcome it.

Business Writing

In today’s cut-throat business scenario, “survival of the fittest” theory has become increasingly applicable. People try out various ways and means to stay afloat or excel in their business. Businessmen always strive to develop new strategies for the growth of the company. And, this can only be achieved when they are able to reach out to people. If their approach is correct, these people can become their future clients, business partners, etc. Thus, communication is indispensable for business activities, and it mainly relies on writing. Business writing refers to any written document used as a medium to communicate and share information. It can be in the form of emails, annual reports, letters, memos, proposals, press releases, brochures, technical documentation, ads, presentations, etc. Planning and implementation of any business activity includes one or more of the above types of business writing. Given its importance, they should be such written so as to be able to convey information in an effective way. Poorly written business writings can lead to disastrous consequences. For many people, however successful they might be, the writing aspect is a stumbling block. So, let us discuss a few tips for business writing that might make it seem a bit easier.

 Tips for Business Writing

  • Knowing your audience is a key aspect of business writing. You should be aware of the target readers for whom you are writing: whether they are young or old, well educated or not-so-well educated, are from a rural or urban background, what they already know about you, what information they need and why, etc.
  • Set your priorities before writing, whether it is just sharing of information, or advertising your product, or explaining the operation of a product, etc. Your writing should help in achieving your purpose.
  • Everyone’s time is precious. So, don’t write lengthy documents. By the time people reach your actual purpose, they might have already lost interest in reading it. Your writing should be simple and to the point.
  • Your writing should be well organized. There should be a logical flow of text and use bullet/number lists to present your information, wherever applicable.
  • Avoid using technical jargons in your writing. Only the persons from that particular field will understand them, but not others. But, if you are writing specifically for a particular group of people, then you can use jargons relevant to that field.
  • Avoid writing in passive voice. People find active voice content more interesting as it has a concise and direct tone. For example: “Doctors use our product” grabs more attention than “Our product is used by doctors”.
  • Keep the language as simple as possible so that people can easily understand. People will lose interest in reading if they come across complicated words.
  • Last, but not the least, ensure that your content is error free. Proofread your draft thoroughly before finalizing it. Grammar, punctuation and spelling errors in your business writings can be suicidal for your purpose. In this regard, you can get quite a few handy grammar tips from Strunk and White’s Elements of Style.

These tips may not help you to master the art of business writing, but it sure will put you on the right track. The right way of communication is essential for the success of any business, small or big. Written material is the first thing that people use to reach out to their employees, clients, investors, etc. People judge a company or product by what they get to read about it. Follow these tips so that your writing serves your purpose.

Interdisciplinary research – Direct Imaging of Single Molecule

Interdisciplinary research has immense potential. I have talked about one of the major discoveries of modern science based on interdisciplinary research in my previous blog, posted on 29th July 2013 (http://blog.manuscriptedit.com/2013/07/ interdisciplinary-research-nobel-prize-chemistry-won-biologists/). Today, let us take another example, where one chemist and one physicist came together and presented us with the direct image of internal covalent bond structure of a single molecule using one of the advanced imaging tools, non-contact Atomic force microscope (nc-AFM). Image1Dr. Felix R.Fischer (http://www.cchem.berkeley.edu/frfgrp/), a young Assistant Professor of Chemistry at University of California (UC), Berkeley along with his collaborator Dr. Michael Crommie (http://www.physics.berkeley.edu/research/crommie/home), also a UC Berkeley Professor of Physics captured the images of internal bond structure of oligo (phenylene-1, 2 ethynylenes) [Reactant1] when it undergoes cyclization to give different cyclic compounds (one of which is shown in the inset picture http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2013/05/30/scientists-capture-first-images-of-molecules-before-and-after-reaction/). Chemists generally determine structure of molecules using different spectroscopic techniques (NMR, IR, Uv-vis, etc.) in an indirect manner. The molecular structures, we generally see in the textbooks result from the indirect way of structure determination, either theoretical or experimental or both. It is more like putting together various parts to solve a puzzle. But now, with this ground breaking work of two scientists from UC Berkeley, one can directly see for the very first time in the history of science, how a single molecule undergoes transformation in a chemical reaction, how the atoms reorganized themselves at a certain condition to produce another molecule. No more solving puzzle for next generation of chemists to determine the molecular structure.

HOW interdisciplinary research made it possible:

Well, it was not easy task for the scientists to come up with these spectacular molecular images. Imaging techniques such as scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), tunneling electron microscopy (TEM), have their limitations, and are often destructive to the organic molecular structure. Advanced technique like nc-AFM where a single carbon monoxide molecule sits on the tip (probe) helps in enhancing the spatial resolution of the microscope, and this method is also non-destructive. The thermal cyclization of the Reactant 1 was probed on an atomically cleaned silver surface, Ag(001) under ultra-high vacuum at single molecular level by STM and nc-AFM. Before probing, the reaction surface and the molecules were chilled at liquid helium temperature, 40K (-2700C). Then the researchers first located the surface molecules by STM and then performed further finetuning with nc-AFM, and the result is what we see in the inset picture. For cyclization, the Reactant 1 was heated at 900C, the products were chilled and probed.  Chilling after heating did not alter the structure of the products. The mechanism of thermal cyclization was also clearly understood, and the mechanistic pathway was in agreement with the theoretical calculations. From the blurred images of STM, Dr. Fischer and Dr. Crommie along with their coworkers presented us crystal clear molecular images with visible internal bond structure. This ground breaking work shows the potential of nc-AFM and unveils secrets of surface bound chemical reactions which will definitely have a huge impact on oil and chemical industries where heterogeneous catalysis is widely used. This technique will also help in creating customized nanostructure for use in electronic devices.

Again this path breaking work was possible due to the collaborative research between chemists and physicists. Hence, the interdisciplinary researches have endless potential.

References

1.    de Oteyza DG, Gorman P, Chen Y-C, Wickenburg S, Riss A, Mowbray DJ, Etkin G, Pedramrazi Z, Tsai H-Z, Rubio A, Crommie MF, Fischer FR. Direct Imaging of Covalent bond structure in Single-molecule chemical reactions. Science (2013); 340: 1434-1437

 

Writing an Abstract in MLA Style

An MLA-style abstract is a concise review of a finished research paper that inspires its readers to read the whole document on the topic. Writing an abstract in MLA style usually aims to summarise the objective, subject-matter, methods, discussions, and conclusions of a paper. An abstract is a reduced form of a lengthy piece of writing. It highlights the key points, briefly describes the content and scope of the paper and reviews the content in a shortened form. Writing an abstract in MLA style is one of the most commonly used modes to write abstracts in the arts and humanities courses.

Writing a high-quality abstract need the explanation of what was done and what was found by the study in an easy, concise and direct language so that readers can ultimately decide whether to read the complete paper or not. The general rules provided in the present article will guide you in writing an abstract in MLA style.

General Rules for Writing an Abstract in MLA Style

  • While writing an abstract in MLA style, it is firstly needed to summarise the objective of the research and the methods used.
  • MLA-style abstract should comprise a short description of the objective, methods, findings and convincing conclusions of the study.
  • MLA-style abstract for humanities topics should be short and snappy. It should be about 150–250 words long.
  • MLA format does not generally need an abstract. In case an abstract is required, it should be placed after the title page, but before the main text of the document.
  • State why you decided to conduct a research on the subject and why the readers should be concerned about the topic of your research.
  • Give a detailed account of the research methods used in the study. Also, describe how the results of the study were obtained.
  • Give an account of the findings and include what was found as the result of your research.
  • In case, the findings have larger implications, comprise them in the conclusion section.
  • Avoid ambiguous and unnecessary words, phrases and sentences that hamper the real value of the abstract.
  • Ensure there are no grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors in the abstract. The abstract should be error-free in order to achieve the readers’ confidence.
  • Abstract should be double-spaced throughout. Use decipherable fonts, like Times New Roman, Arial, etc., in 12-point font size.
  • When citing a long work in the abstract, use italics instead of quotation marks.
  • Read and revise the abstract several times to make it perfect and faultless.
  • Ensure that the final form of the abstract is kept within the word limit.

By following the given rules you can learn the basic manner by which an abstract is written in MLA style. The above mentioned general rules will help you to learn and also guide you in writing an abstract in MLA style.

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.

Email

Email is a very swift method of correspondence. Through an email one can send data or information across the world to multiple recipients in a few seconds, at a fraction of the cost of the courier or postal charges. This is a great advantage but can be a drawback too. As once the sent button is hit there can be no recalling of the information sent. Though some software is found which can retrieve a sent email but it is not popular and easily available.

An email can be seen and read simultaneously by many recipients, open to a more constructive criticism and feedback. Another disadvantage of emails is that due to their ease and simplicity, emails often tend to be associated with speech and casual language rather than formal script, which can lead to miscommunication.

When sending email as part of a professional communication, keep in mind these two points:

  1. An email message is a written text; therefore, it is bound by the conventions of writing. The audience and purpose should determine the relative formality of style and the amount of detail. Ease of transmission and deletion does not justify sloppy composition, wrongly spelt words and ungrammatical sentences. A very common complaint with business emails are that writers seem abrupt and disrespectful and seem written in haste.
  2. Email does not replace hard copy. Printed and signed documents are still considered more binding and formal than soft copy. Therefore, it is always better that even when you email a report for fast transmission, make sure to send a hard copy to formalize the communication. Firstly, it is still easier to lose documents in cyberspace. Secondly, there can be technical glitches’ with electronic communication, whereas print can fall back on the universality and reliability of paper.

The closest hard document to an email message is the memo. Email headers, for instance parallel memo headers, comprising From, To, Subject and Date. Therefore, construct an email message like a memo. This means you should:

  • Begin with an opening address: This could be ‘Dear’ … … for more formal correspondence or ‘Hello … ‘ for less formal. You can omit an opening address if the message is one in a series of reply exchanges on a topic.
  • Place your main message as close to beginning as possible: Give as much information possible in the first paragraph. All details must be given in following paragraphs.
  • Write in full words and paragraphs.
  • Never use uppercase to emphasize anything, its better to italicize the word.
  • End the mail by clear stating the expected response by the person after reading the email.
  • Sign your message with your name and affiliation and contact number.

Other points to be kept in mind while writing an official mail are keep short paragraphs while writing emails. Do not use headings, tables or formatted text in the body of the email. If there is large data then include those in attachments and not in the body of the email.

Use of email is appropriate in cases where even their deletion will not cause any problems. They can be used instead of letters in case of external communication and memos in case of internal communication. It is always better to get a hard copy for binding contracts or information that needs to be recorded.

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.