How to polish your writing

How to polish your writing

 

Some of us take great pride in silverware that’s handed down from older generations. But some tarnish on it can detract from its glory. Surely with a little help from chemistry, you could polish your dull silverware, and voila! It’s as good as new.

On similar lines, your writing could at times lack a flair despite the content having some good substance. This calls for some polishing that’ll make the content more presentable and also make it easier for the reader to comprehend.

Give yourself a break!

Yes, you read it right. After you’ve revised your draft, you need some good distraction. Let the draft rest, go ahead and watch a movie or drift away in some good music.

So how does this help your draft? Well, with a fresh mind, the chances of a better inflow of thoughts are high when compared to a mind that’s still engaged in work.

Decluttering

  • Ensure every sentence in your draft supports the intention of your work.
  • Avoid repetition of words and ideas in consecutive sentences.
  • Stick to the tone of the language the content demands. For example, avoid puns and pointless rhymes in a research paper.
  • Eliminate double negatives. For example, “It wasn’t uninteresting” can be replaced with “It was interesting”.
  • Don’t go overboard with Passive voice. Use Active voice more generously in your writing.
  • Although you may have checked for grammatical errors while revising your draft, it is advisable to check for grammatical errors again in the final stage. This could include punctuations, spellings, sentence construction etc.

Choice of words

When you use jargons and slangs, you need to consider your audience. You may have to find words that approximate the word you want to replace. A thesaurus and a dictionary would help in this regard.

Put yourself in the Reader’s shoes

You could read your draft out loud to a friend, or someone you believe can proofread your work. This way you get an opportunity to understand what the readers are likely to perceive. Also, when you listen to yourself, it helps to find mistakes you might’ve overlooked.

Ultimately you’d want your readers to understand the content from your perspective. Follow the KISS rule. Keep it Simple, Stupid. Sometimes, removing a few lines is a better option than having bulky content. The key here is to be persistent in your revision with a relaxed and open mind.

 

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