5 Editing Tools to Improve The Power of Your Writing
May 15, 2021
Writing starts with an idea, but Strong Editing is Key to Effective Writing. Frantz Fanon said “everything can be understood by the people, on the single condition that you want them to understand.” Writing effectively is an exercise in communicating your thoughts so that everyone can follow and reach the same conclusion. Effective writing requires accuracy, clarity, and comprehensibility. In short, persuasive writing requires strong editing. Check out these five tools to help you get from the first draft to the final copy.
1. Microsoft Word Editor
The Microsoft Word Editor, for PC or Mac, provides all of the standard writing quality checks including spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. You can also use the advanced options (under “Editor” >“Settings”) to check for clarity, conciseness, over or under-formality, and even inclusiveness – to avoid alienating people with terms that are outdated or considered inappropriate.
Not only will the Microsoft Word Editor improve your writing by offering suggestions while you write, but as you see and apply these suggestions, you will begin to retain these writing rules and apply them without prompting.
Grammarly is a free editing extension for Google Chrome that can be used to edit writing in anything written online, including emails, social media posts, and various other programs. Grammarly is similar to Word Editor in that it checks for common grammar and style issues. It is very user-friendly, providing in-text drop-down boxes that provide suggestions for grammar, spelling, and word choice changes.
Like Word Editor, simply using Grammarly can help improve your writing. Unlike Word Editor, which focuses on typing prose-style writing, Grammarly helps improve your writing across a wide variety of writing styles.
3. Hemingway Editor
The Hemingway Editor is a low-cost ($19.99) editor designed for use with longer pieces such as essays, articles, or blogs. The Hemingway Editor focuses on keeping your writing straightforward and effective. This editor catches adverb overuse, passive voice, verbose word choices, and overly complex or wordy sentences and sections. Further, this editor is also user-friendly, highlighting each issue in a specific eye-catching color.
The Hemingway Editor can help you learn to detect and break up overly complex passages, along with other common errors that detract from strong writing.
4. Readability Score
The Readability Score can be determined by pasting your text into the Readable website. Readability Scores are also provided in a number of editing programs including Grammarly and the Hemingway Editor. The Readability Score, as the name implies, provides a score indicating how complex your writing is. Readability scores range from 8-10 and are determined by various techniques, indicating a grade-level score (e.g., 8th grade reading level).
The Readability Score adds another layer onto the standard grammar, spelling, and comprehensibility check. The score allows you to not only make sure that you are writing with clarity and power, but that you are targeting the level of complexity your audience expects.
Chegg’s Plagiarism Checker makes sure that what you have written is original. Plagiarism checks scan your writing not only for exact copies of other writers’ text, but also close matches. They say “there is nothing new under the sun” – we all face the threat of unintentionally replicating others work. However, that does not mean that you can’t find an original way to get at the same point.
Replicating others’ style is useful for training, but in application you will need to discover your own style. Avoiding replication of other writers is a great way to challenge yourself to develop your own “voice.”
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
If you pride yourself on your writing capabilities, you may think you can handle editing on your own. But in the same sense that “the physician who treats himself has a fool for a patient,” the writer who relies on their own eyes to catch all their mistakes often makes misjudgments. Editing software helps catch those mistakes that are so common they go unnoticed – at a fraction of the cost of hiring an editor.
Thank you to our guest blogger, Fancy Comma, LLC for these 5 tools to help improve our writing and editing. Check out these other guest posts by Fancy Comma, LLC: