Here’s how to review your own text even without being an expert in grammar in 6 extremely simple steps!
One of the most difficult activities for a writer is to revise the text itself. When we review someone else’s, errors appear more easily and it’s much easier to make the necessary corrections.
When dealing with our content, the small flaws seem to camouflage and arise only the moment the text reaches the first reader.
But at the moment, a small flaw can compromise its credibility and even disrupt the understanding of the text. So in this article, I’ll share some of the top tips to help you review your own essays:
1. Let your text (and your mind) rest first
The moment you end the writing phase is when your reading experience becomes more compromised.
Fresh content in your head will lead to a biased review, in which basically everything will make sense to you and only scandalous errors will catch your attention.
So let your text stand and enjoy to rest your mind as well. Preferably, entitled to a good night’s sleep for both.
2. Use the technology to your advantage with the good old ctrl + f
There are some words and expressions that do not contribute much to your text, being that, in the majority of the times, they are only used as a graft.
Search the list below and check your need in the sections where they appear:
adverbs: search for “mind”;
By eliminating some of these words, you will notice that your text will be much leaner and more objective, making reading easier.
Some other terms, in my opinion, may compromise your credibility by imparting insecurity in speech, such as:
in my opinion.
There are still some expressions that we frequently miss and therefore also deserve a pre-review check:
through: if it does not have the sense of crossing, it should be replaced by “by means of”;
assertive: does it mean that something was done right? Switch to “hit” or “efficient”;
instead of: unless you have an idea of opposition (example: black rather than white), the correct one is “instead of”.
Over time, you will notice some language vices in your own writing and you can check them out in that step as well.
3. Do a dynamic reading of your text
This is the first act that a potential reader will do with your content. So check to see if there are any blocks of text that are too long, compromising the scannability, and especially check for phrasal paragraphs.
Only now in the fourth step will you read your text. And I recommend you do more than this:
4. Read your content aloud
Remember that you are communicating with your reader. And to see if the communication will be pleasurable and interesting, it is only fair that you give voice to your text.
This is the easiest way to find:
phrases and excerpts that can be improved;
long sentences that could hinder the reader’s understanding;
as well as language addictions for you to include in the second topic.
5. Take on the role of your person and reread
Now that you’ve sifted through all of your text to make it easier to read, it’s time to check if you’ve laid out your ideas clearly.
For this, reread as if you were his persona and stay alert for terms and acronyms that could be better explained.
For example, if you are going to talk about SEO and your target audience does not have much knowledge about digital marketing, it is necessary to say that this is optimization for search engines such as Google.
6. Be open to feedback
If you write as a freelancer, your text will pass through a standalone reviewer and content analyst before being sent to the client and eventually published.
Thus, it will undergo two stages of review accompanied by feedback from professionals specializing in content. So, abandon your ego and listen to what they have to say.
In this way, you will have perfect understanding of what your strengths are; and how to work to keep improving.
And if you’re not already a ‘freelancer, a great way to collect feedback is by posting your content on a platform: it could be your personal blog or LinkedIn.
Of course, it’s time to rectify this and be part of our team of copywriters and reviewers!
This is a slightly more daring method because it is possible that some returns come in the form of hate comments. But just filter this out and focus on constructive comments to understand where you can improve.
The more you understand your language vices and improvement points, the easier it is to revise your own texts using the methodology described here.
And to help you keep an eye on possible treacherous writing mistakes that may go unnoticed, we’ve listed the top 63 mistakes that our best copywriters often make! It is worth leaving as a reference material to assist in your next revisions.