20 essential editing tips

Use these tactics to tighten, brighten and enhance whatever sloppy copy comes your way.

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Top 20 editing tips

Editing is vital to produce great writing. But what’re the best ways to trim, polish and strengthen copy?

This list offers essential proofreading tips to whip your work into professional shape:

1. Sleep on it.

Editing requires a clear, objective mind, which can be difficult to maintain if you’re trying to finish too much in one day. Resting your mind between edits gives your eyes a better chance to catch errors.

Even for short documents finished in a few hours, look at them again the next day.

2. Pore over the document at different times of day.

Even though I’m not a morning person, I’ve found I gain a fresh perspective on my work the next morning.

If I’m reading a document all morning, however, it can be helpful to take a look at it again the next day at night.

Vary your editing times, and it’ll feel like a different document. You’ll see new elements you likely missed before.

3. Read your writing out loud.

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