ClearTips: Edit yourself


You should check the use and usefulness of each word, phrase, sentence, paragraph, and section. If you do not have time for such a task, at least check a few basic things.

  • Check all spelling, hyphens, capitals, numbers, and important names and terms against your style sheet.
  • Make a contents page to identify problems of organization and to help your readers.
  • Underline and try to rectify long sentences, awkward sentences, passive verbs, and constructions that should be parallel but are not.
  • Check that subjects and verbs agree in number.
  • Check that all who and which clauses are correctly punctuated.
  • Check that all introductory clauses beginning with an -ing word relate to what immediately follows.
  • Check that pairs, series, and compound subjects and predicates are arranged from short to long, from simple to compound.
  • Cut what is of little use.
  • Proofread everything you send out. A list of proofreader's marks is under proofreader in Merriam-Webster's Dictionary.

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Edit yourself
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