Content Writing has Two Phases:
Phase One is the writing and slight tweaking of your paper
Phase Two is the heavy editing phase. This phase should double the time you just spent.
So it took three hours to write? It should take at least another three hours to edit. If you plan for this doubling and expect it, you'll write a paper your readers will love.
Why should it take so long to heavy edit?
Because there's plenty to do.
- Make sure your conclusion is clear
- Put extra care into your first and last paragraphs. They are attractive window dressing
- Nouns are better than verbs. Verbs are better than adjectives.
- Remove all intensifiers such as "very," "extremely," and so forth. For example, replace "very capable" with accomplished. Replace "extremely scared" with "terrified."
- Take the time to do a lot of googling for synonyms, antonyms, and definitions.
- A piece of writing can make its point and yet fail at engaging the reader. A little extra effort can make the difference between utilitarian and captivating. In your writing, look for a sense of beauty, whether music or food help you. Think of it as a piece of music in all its variety, designed to delight. Or think of an Indian dish with no spices. Now taste again with the spices. Your guests will now want more. Likewise, expository writing needs linguistic devices:
- Punchy words (choose words that need no intensifiers or qualifers)
- Parallel Construction (judicous repetition in structure)
- Snappy Sentences (mix sentence length)
- Rhythmic Phrases (read your words out loud -- you'll hear it or you won't)
- Transitional strategies (alert your reader you are moving from one idea to another)
- Active Voice is almost always better than passive voice
Some Resources to study
- Eliminate Intensifiers with impactful words
- Use Parallel Structure
- Vary Your Sentence Length
- Use Transitional Devices and Transitional Words
Analyze this very essay and answer these questions:
- What examples of parallel structure can you find in this essay?
- What other linguistic devices can you find in this essay?
- What would you do to improve this essay?
Write an essay to persuade other college students that the heavy editing phase should double their writing time.