The Importance of Editing and Revising in the Writing Process
Editing and revising are only sometimes discussed processes, but they’re incredibly important if you want your writing to be as clear and concise as possible.
In this post, we’ll cover the difference between editing and proofreading, why it’s so important for writers to do both of these things over their work before sending it out into the world—and how doing so will make all the difference in getting your articles published.
i. The writing process isn’t linear.
When you write, you’re not just putting words on paper. You’re also making choices about how to organize and present those words.
The writing process—the exercise of putting words onto a page—is iterative: it goes through many cycles of revision, reorganization, and editing until your final draft is ready to send off into the wild.
If you break down the entire process into its various steps (and I’d encourage you to do so), two other important things happen along the way:
1) we make decisions about what information will be communicated most effectively;
2) we make decisions about which methods of communicating will work best for our audience or client
ii. Editing is different than proofreading.
Editing is a process of rewriting and improving your work. Proofreading is checking for mistakes, but it’s not necessarily an editing step.
Editing involves making changes to what you have written to meet your standards as an author or blogger.
It can be done by cutting out parts of the text, adding new sentences or paragraphs, changing word choice and sentence structure, etc., depending on what needs fixing to improve the clarity and flow of ideas within a piece of writing (or blog post).
iii. Revision is different than editing.
Editing is about fixing mistakes, but revision is about improving the quality of a piece.
While editing involves changing words, revision consists in adding or deleting sections and revising the structure and style of your work.
It’s possible that you won’t notice any changes at first glance because they seem so small—but as you continue editing over time, they can greatly impact how your writing reads and feels to readers.
Revision takes longer than simply making minor corrections because it requires you to consider what makes up the whole:
What are its parts?
How do they interact with each other?
How does this structure affect its meaning?
You need these questions answered before going back into your manuscript to improve upon them.
iv. Revision is different than proofreading.
Proofreading and revision are two different things.
Proofreading involves checking for spelling, grammar, punctuation errors, and other mechanical problems that a computer program can fix.
Revision involves checking for clarity and meaning in the text.
Suppose a writer is interested in revising their work. In that case, it’s important to note that proofreading will not necessarily help them improve their writing—it may just give them another set of eyes on their work before sending it out into the world.
The best way to start with revision is by thinking about what kind of reader you want your audience to be.
If someone reads over an article with no intention of changing anything but just making sure everything looks nice (and perhaps making notes about themes or ideas), then this might be enough for them.
However, if they see something confusingly worded or need more detail in certain places, then they’ll need some help from someone else who knows more about those topics than their reading comprehension skills. This will allow them access to understanding what exactly needs changing. Hence, as not only fix but improves upon these issues while maintaining overall coherence within each paragraph.
v. The more you edit and revise, the clearer your writing will be.
The more you revise and edit your writing, the clearer it will be.
Revising is a process of improving the clarity of your writing.
It also means going over your work again and again until you’re satisfied with its quality and flow.
You can do this by making changes to individual sentences or paragraphs; adding new ideas; rewording what’s already there; or deleting words that don’t belong in their current context (e.g., “put down” when what we want is “place down”).
At first glance, it might seem like revising makes things worse, but this kind of editing actually works against our natural tendency towards perfectionism.
Permitting yourself to make mistakes helps keep us focused on our goal instead of getting bogged down by those pesky typos.
We hope this has helped you understand the difference between editing and proofreading.
As you can see, many different edits need to be done to your writing before it’s ready for publication.
Be sure to take the time to do them all.