Revise Your Own Writing Following These Simple Guidelines
1. Give extra time for revision. Give some time to revise, or at least read your writing twice.
2. Make it a habit to revise your writing soon as you finish it. This is the best time to copy edit.
3. Put quality over quantity. Erase unnecessary words even if it would compromise your word count. Omit intensifier words like very, truly, and/or really. As much as possible, replace with more concise descriptions.
4. Don't use that is, which is, and/or who is as much as possible.
5. Revise sentences with phrases like ‘as a matter of fact,' ‘at some point in time,' and/or ‘in other words.' Replace them with more snappy succinct statements if necessary.
6. Revise sentences containing the preposition of. Instead of writing ‘It was of value,' try writing ‘It was valuable.'
7. Erase then in ‘if...then' statements.
8. Erase both in ‘both...and' statements.
9. Don't use or at all if you're only putting it in between two synonymous adjective words. Make up your mind in choosing only one modifier.
10. Get your adjectives in correct order. For example, The very strict tall black American teacher. Just follow this sequence:
o Determiners / Articles (a, an, the)
o Intensifiers (very, rather, somewhat)
o Quality (pretty, strict, generous, bold)
o Shape and/or Size (tall, little, huge, round)
o Color (blue, tan, beige, black)
o Another noun (American, school, city)
o Head Word (Modified) Noun (girl, teacher, flowers)
11. Write in active voice. Limit sentences with the word by specifically if your statement involves a person or persons. For example, it's better to write ‘Edgar Allan Poe wrote the poem' instead of ‘The poem was written by Edgar Allan Poe.'
12. Revise ‘there is...' sentences. For instance, change ‘There is a puppy inside the box' to ‘A puppy is inside the box.'
13. Use bullets and numbering when writing examples or if writing about a process. The hint is when you see too many and's, then's and/or and then's.
14. Reposition the words only and/or just as needed. For example, if you write ‘She only eats vegetables,' it could mean ‘She doesn't drink;' But if you write ‘She eats only vegetables,' the message that ‘She doesn't eat meat' is clarified.
15. Make up your mind whether you're going to use it or they in modifying an animal or a business. Use it consistently all throughout your article.
16. Observe parallelism. For instance:
o She is a photographer and collected antique photographs.
- Unparallel: Subject -> Predicate (noun + verb / adjective) = Wrong
o She is a photographer and collector of antique photographs.
- Parallel: Subject -> Predicate (noun + noun) = Correct
17. Minimize the use of Jargon, Idioms, and/or Slang - unless used in a direct quotation.
18. Always carry a thesaurus with you whenever you write and revise. Use precise verbs or adjectives.
19. Make sure your article has a clear Introduction / Beginning, Development / Body, and Conclusion / Ending.
20. Follow logic (key ideas in each paragraphs flowing in sequence or in relation to each other).
21. Check your subject and verb agreement. Check if your punctuations are correct; Lastly,
22. Read your revised work one last time.
Learn these revision guidelines and you won't be receiving rejected articles with fully blown red marks.