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Posts Tagged ‘grammar’

Write-me-a-letter

By Linda Cronin

I’ve had this conversation with a few people lately, so I thought it was time to expose everyone to the world of editing.

When I edit anything — ad copy, press release, bylines, articles, etc. — there are two ways I edit. The amount of time I have dictates which way I edit.

Method 1: Grammar and punctuation

The first time I look over anything I go through word for word and edit for grammar and punctuation. I have to do this first or I can’t really even concentrate on what the words are saying. I don’t want to be caught up in the misspelled words, misplaced commas and wrongly used semicolons.  When people ask me to do a quick read, this is typically what they get. It is down and dirty and just gets the basics done.

Method 2: Content

When I am given the time, I then reread the writing for its content. This is when I can tell if thoughts are conveyed well, if the introduction ties to the main point and if a conclusion wraps everything together. For RFP reviews, this is when I can add my own ideas or challenge the ones presented.

So, when I am editing, I always try to find out what my colleague / client needs. Do they need method 1, 2 or both? People usually don’t take offense to method 1, but 2 is where you can easily start ruffling some feathers. However, I believe it is important for every writing to be analyzed in both ways. This allows for clean, strong copy to be presented, which is ultimately good for you and for your client.

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