Revision 1. Content and Emphasis
Identify what information is missing. Remove sections that don't alter the overall
meaning of the document. Check that you have emphasized the important ideas, and
de-emphasized the lesser ones. If you are under tight deadlines and can only give it one
revision, check for content and emphasis.
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Revision 2. Clarity
If you have time for two passes, check for clarity next. Study if the organization is
logical, and that it helps the reader to understand the content. Keep sentences
straightforward and use words understandable to the reader. Ensure that the transition
from one section to the next is effective.
Revision 3. Correctness
In the third pass, look for grammar, word choice, spelling, punctuation, and sentence
Revision 4. Brevity
Then shorten wordy phrases, eliminate unnecessary sentences, combine or delete
unimportant ideas. Tighten up the text.
Revision 5. Style
The last revision is to work on style. In technical writing style is not much of an
issue as the company Style Guide often prescribes the writing style. If you can use your
own voice, be aware of your style and make sure it works for the piece you're writing.
And then proofread!
Proofreading means rechecking the facts every time content moves from one production phase
For example, if you produce it in Microsoft Word and import it into Adobe PageMaker,
conversion and text flow problems will arise. (Believe me, they will!).
These problems are usually caused by differences in font sets, unrecognized automatic
functions, and other software differences.
When proofreading, look out for
- Missing content, such as last lines in paragraphs, missing last paragraphs in a column,
and missing words at the ends of lines
- Extra hyphens and spaces inserted in odd places
- Improperly converted symbols
- Incorrect functions, such as figure/page numbering, running headers, or cross
- Font substitutions
- Spelling errors that spell checkers don't find, such as form instead of from
- Faulty alignment, especially in tables and in text associated with graphics
- Missing and corrupt graphics.
- Check graphics that display on the screen, but
don't print out
Lastly, ask an experienced person to look at it. Your colleague will probably see
things that may have escaped you.