Editing Tips From Our Grammar Guru!

It doesn’t matter how slick your design, engaging your photos or thorough your information – if you have a glaring typo, a stumble-inducing sentence or any other poor writing, your product is going look amateur in the end.Sure, not everyone’s a master grammarian and you can take your chances hoping no one notices a slip-up. Hiring a professional to write and/or edit your product is always a smart way to go, but even if you do hire someone, it’s essential you – the client – thoroughly check the product as well. You may want a certain word capitalized, a word spelled a specific way or have a particular grammatical rule you want implemented.

If there are writing rules you want followed, make a style guide to use in-house and give it to the agency working on your product as well. The guide will ensure consistency in how things are worded and help maintain your brand.  Often these guides may include logo use requirements as well.

Check out Intelligent Editing’s suggestions on how to write a style guide. Don’t be intimidated – your guide may only need to be a few pages.

As an example, look at Rutgers University’s style guide. The university’s guide is long but also thorough. It will give you an idea of what you might want in yours. http://ur.rutgers.edu/sites/ur/files/editorial_style.pdf

In addition, decide if you’re going to follow primarily Associated Press style or the Chicago Manual of Style. They have many differences – some of the most common being comma usage (AP does not use the serial comma, Chicago does) and capitalization rules. For the most up-to-date and easy-to-use versions, join online at www.apstylebook.com or at www.chicagomanualofstyle.com.

Other steps to follow to ensure your product’s verbiage is error-free and ready to distribute:

  • Once the product is written and nearing its final stages, print it out and read a hard copy aloud, slowly. You’ll be amazed at how many things you catch by doing this.
  • Have other people read it, especially if you wrote it. It’s hardest to spot your own mistakes. We recommend having each document reviewed by at least three pairs of eyes.
  • There are lots of great resources on the Internet that answer basic (or even complicated) grammar questions. One of my favorites is grammargirl.com. It’s got a searchable function.
  • When in doubt, pull out your dictionary. It’s an essential tool for any wordsmith.

And just for fun, here’s a paragraph, written (or meant to be) in AP style. Can you spot all the grammar, spelling and AP style errors? There may be more than you think! There’s also some really bad writing in here that could use some help. What would you fix and how?

 Don’t Miss Kid Zones’ Grand Opening! Have a chance to win a free hosted birthday party!

Kid Zone is excited to anounce the opening of our 3rd location on the corner of Main and Univrsity. We’ll be having a celabration on Febuary 5th so make sure to drop by. Beverages and snacks will be provided from 4 PM to 5 PM followed by tours starting at 5:15 PM. Some of our most exciting aditions includes an indoor playground, a bowling alley, high tech music making equipment, and a new lounge for the adults who may need a time out. Parents are entilted to there own lounge, to!

For those who attend, if you bring a nonperisable food item for the local food bank, we’ll make sure it goes towards free entry on your next visit. A waterballoon tossing contest will be held at 3:30 to see who will win the next free hosted birthday party at Kid Zone.

Remember, Kid Zone is for children ages seven and up. Don’t miss this special event…its going to be a blast!

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