Resources and posts about how to edit your own work

WEX Editors on Common Errors Seen in Dissertations

2019-07-25T01:15:36+00:00

We’ve asked the WEX editors about the common APA errors they’re seeing in dissertations and have created this list in the hopes writers might have an advantage in self-editing their dissertations. Here we go:   Table of Contents: Inconsistent wording from the heading in the text Incorrect representation of heading levels Incorrect pagination and/or margins [...]

Does Proofreading Really Matter?

2019-02-08T16:04:21+00:00

We’ve spent much time talking about editing, and now it’s proofreading time to take the front stage.  We’ve all had the experience of reading a professional text and noticing a typo. The immediate response is typically one any writer would prefer to avoid as there’s nothing like losing a reader’s confidence or better yet having [...]

Proofreading Checklist

2019-02-08T16:54:09+00:00

Proofreading Checklist So many of us focus our writing time on the composing process and forget that the final product deserves a finishing touch. Don't neglect this final polish that all writing requires if it's going to be read by another person.  If you're independent and feel capable, go ahead and use this handy list [...]

Self-Editing for Content

2019-02-08T16:14:03+00:00

Have you been told that your writing lacks direction or unity? If so, the following list of questions might help you edit for content. Focus on one or two areas below and revise for style and meaning.  Subject, Purpose, Audience What's the most important thing I want to say about my subject? What would my [...]

Dash Away!

2018-10-31T15:46:47+00:00

Have you ever wondered what all the commotion was between hyphens and dashes? If you're writing for publication (esp in APA), you might have been given feedback from a reader or an editor about the Em Dash vs the En Dash. It might seem fussy detail, but there is a difference. And some readers notice. [...]

Proofreading Made Easier

2019-02-05T18:03:57+00:00Tags: , |

Proofreading your own writing can be a difficult enterprise. You’ve read the material so many times that your eye doesn’t catch what can be glaring to an outside reader. Errors or typos are too quickly lost to your own field of vision. After all the hard work of conceptualizing, researching, writing and revising, you want [...]

Revising for Clarity and Precision: The Paramedic Method

2018-12-01T23:47:04+00:00Tags: , , , , |

Perhaps you’ve been told that your writing is wordy or that your heavy phrasing confuses your reader. Most writers face this problem of “overwriting.”  However, clear sentences are integral to clarity and facilitating your reader’s understanding. To ensure greater readability, try using the Paramedic Method described here. The “Paramedic Method” is an easy, do-it yourself [...]

Homophones Explained

2018-10-31T15:46:47+00:00

Homophones are words that sound the same but are spelled differently. For many writers, homophones are the number one reason for misspelled words. It’s not necessarily that we don’t know how to spell a certain word, it’s that we fell into the auditory trap of using another word that sounds identical. When we write, we [...]

Using Richard Feynman’s Technique for Writer’s Block

2018-12-04T01:34:40+00:00Tags: , , , , , , |

Richard Feynman was a Nobel Prize winning physicist who famously challenged colleagues to explain difficult concepts in simple language rather than “hide behind” the esoterica and arcane language of their fields.  A popular faculty member at CalTech, Feynman was dedicated to ensuring that his students learned the material rather than simply relying on rote memorization [...]

Show, Don’t Tell

2018-12-04T01:21:46+00:00Tags: , , , |

If writing is a public act, then, your purpose as a writer is to ignite reader’s interest and understanding of what you are writing about. The “Show, Don’t Tell” strategy emphasizes the reader’s experience of the material through the detail presented through action, concrete language, thoughts, sensory imagery, and feelings RATHER than the author’s summary [...]

The Descriptive Outline: Revising for Content and Organization

2019-03-04T18:28:12+00:00Tags: , , , , , , |

Descriptive Outlines & Revising for Content and Organization Many writers rely on the organizational value of outlines to organize their thoughts in the initial stages of writing. Outlines can also provide a useful framework to help ensure organization during and after writing. This exercise provides a way to check for idea development. Use this descriptive [...]

Revising for Clarity and Precision: The Paramedic Method

2017-02-21T13:59:59+00:00Tags: , , , , |

Perhaps you’ve been told that your writing is wordy or that your heavy phrasing confuses your reader. Most writers face this problem of “overwriting.”  However, clear sentences are integral to clarity and facilitating your reader’s understanding. To ensure greater readability, try using the Paramedic Method described here. The “Paramedic Method” is an easy, do-it yourself [...]