– the writing process – step 4: proofreading/editing

Some call it proofreading, some call it editing, and I don’t really care which.  Step 4 is easy.  Punctuation?  Spelling?  Grammar?  All good?  Done.  MSWord and spell check are a great help, but things will slip by.  This step – for me – is almost unnecessary because I’m making an effort to proofread during the revising process.  This step exists more for students who are still learning the basics of the writing process.  It’s not needed as much for me.  It’s needed – just not as much.

Editing is not about word choices.  That was revising, or it should have been done when revising. 

     Editing is not:  Should i use walked into the room

                           or strolled into the room? 

     Editing is:  Should there be a comma before and or just and

                     Should I use a period or semicolon?

FYI: never use a semicolon unless you have no choice, but you’ll always have a choice.

Editing is also formatting.  Should I start a new paragraph here, or should I blend these two smaller paragraphs into one?  I hate trying to figure that out.  I’m just not certain sometimes.  Ask me if the comma or period is needed?  I’m your man.  Ask me if the question mark goes inside or outside the quotes?  Nobody is better.  However, breaking paragraphs sometimes confuses me.  The general rule is you break if there is a change in speaker, setting/location, or action.  Great, but it still confuses me occasionally.

There’s really nothing else to say, and I apologize if you’re now saying, “That’s it?  That’s all there is to say?  Thanks for wasting my time.”

You’re welcome.

3 thoughts on “– the writing process – step 4: proofreading/editing

    • yup. however, i try (but maybe shouldn’t) to edit during revising so i won’t have to edit as much. it’s such a mental drain that puts me to sleep. finally finished retying in the revisions. zzzzzz

  1. i feel i must take umbrage at your semicolon slight; never has the grouping of two such entities – that when viewed separately instil merely a desire to blow at the page and rid oneself of the annoyance dust inevitably causes – given rise to something so powerful in its conveyance of utter pointlessness, so groundbreaking in its elevation of the dross; I talk of course not about the great debate surrounding it, nor about the insult vonnegut made with regards to the nihilist representation of transvestite hermaphrodites; instead i refer to the birth of a graph entitled, ‘the frequency of semicolons in english texts from 1500-2008’……………………….……….qed

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