How to Content Edit Like a Pro: Overall Content Checklist

19 11 2012

So, you finally finished writing an amazing novel or academic paper and, after basking in the glory of your finished work,  now what? Editing. Editing polishes a good idea into a great product. It irons out all the little devilish details and can be overwhelming. I am frequently asked by clients how to begin editing. With so many little things to fix it is hard to figure out what things should be fixed first.

I always do content (substantive) editing first. In my opinion you can’t fix how to say an idea until the ideas make sense.

Content Editing Checklist: Overall Content

  1. Does the work clearly focus on one topic?
  2. Does the introduction grab the interest your intended reader and offer a clear purpose for reading?

  3. Throughout the work is there a clear, logical point that is supported in each paragraph

  4. Are the facts accurate?

  5. Does the work follow a logical plan from beginning to end?

  6. Does the body of the work present well-ordered paragraphs of main ideas with relevant, supporting details

  7. Does the conclusion leave readers feeling satisfied, feeling a sense of conclusion now that they have reached the end and know what to do with the information?

  8. Is the necessary background information given?

  9. Does the work moves smoothly from one idea to the next?

  10. Do the transitions make sense and ameliorate the flow of the work?

These are the ten most basic things to go through when beginning content editing. Tomorrow I will teach you how to line by line content edit like a professional.

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