When you’ve written a piece of copy the best person to edit it isn’t you! However, if you don’t have a handy editor around you’ll need to at least review it. To gain a little perspective leave it as long as possible after having written it, but at least overnight.

With a fresh eye you’ll immediately see things that reflect your evolving thought processes that occurred whilst you were writing! Things like starting a sentence with one thought in mind and then changing your mind part way through – resulting in sentences that don’t flow and sometimes don’t actually make sense.

Look for:

  • Very long sentences; anything that is getting past the two line mark (on a normal A4 set up) needs breaking up somewhere.
  • Wordiness; it’s easy to find yourself rambling, so anything that doesn’t make your point easily will need to be either cut or sharpened up.
  • Complex words; just because you know what words mean doesn’t mean your readers will. Stick to 8th grade English so you don’t lose those people with a lesser vocabulary.
  • Keep paragraphs to no more than 6 lines – one idea per paragraph; one thought per sentence.
  • Also check that the purpose you started with is delivered by the end – it’s easy to go off track somewhere along the way and that means your reader will end up wondering what it was all about.

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