Copyediting Tips to Help You Produce Crisp, Error-free Copy

Copyediting is a critical part in every writing process because it lets you review over several drafts (I’d recommend 3) what you’ve written so you can make it tighter, more concise, more polished.

1ST DRAFT

Here’s a checklist to help you evaluate your first draft:

  1. Are there any obvious misspellings, inaccuracies in your information, punctuation or grammatical errors?
  2. Are there ambiguities and plot holes in your storyline?
  3. Does it fulfill your purpose and contain all the necessary information your readers need to know?
  4. Does your writing flow smoothly from one section to the next or does it feel jerky when read out loud?
  5. Does it speak to your readers in a language they will understand?
  6. Have you used sub-headings, bullet points, bold formatting and italics in all the right places?
  7. Does your content interest your readers?
  8. Is your content visually appealing and attractively laid out?
  9. Does it contain unnecessary words and useless repetition of text?
  10. MORE IMPORTANTLY, have you included a call to action?

2ND DRAFT

Review for tone of voice and add more life into your copy by using metaphors, similes, juxtaposition (a technique of comparing and contrasting ideas), famous quotes that resonate, words that paint vivid images in readers’ minds, or any form of expression that makes your storyline more involving.

3RD DRAFT

On your final draft, be sure to print out your document and proofread it for any typos (See my checklist for reviewing your first draft) you might have missed in your previous drafts.



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