4 Quick Tips to Improve your English Editing Skills

editing text on paper

It can be frustrating when you're unable spot errors when writing in English. Of course, tools like Grammarly can help, but AI can't highlight all of our writing inaccuracies (yet).

So many of my clients in publishing and creative industries face the same issue and I have spoken with them to figure out which self-editing tips work best for them. Here they are.


1. Check your document for repeated terms. 

We all rely too much on some phrases when writing. Next, use CTRL+F to find and replace overused words. This works for academic terms, and creative writing too.

2. Look for homophones—words which sound the same, with different spellings and meanings

Words like ‘past’ and ‘passed’ or ‘to’ and ‘two’ and ‘too’. Spell checker won’t find these errors. Keep this list handy, and learn the homophones from one letter of the alphabet per day.

magnifying glass

3. Paste your text into an analysis tool like Count Wordsworth

This will analyse all sorts of things — letters per word, the readability score, and most usefully, sentence length. We need variety in the length and flow of our sentences, or writing can sound robotic. 

Watch out for sentences over 40 words. In English, we can only follow three clauses before a sentence becomes confusing.

4. Change the format of your text to proofread it

Print your work out and go through it carefully to make notes and corrections. If you can’t print it, change the font, make it bigger, and trick your brain into thinking it’s different so you can spot those mistakes. 

Reading aloud also helps you spot faulty sentences and rogue punctuation.

There are many more ways to improve your English editing. However, the most important idea is to go back and edit all the important things you write, then next time, you'll set the bar of your first-draft higher.


For language tips and resources download the FREE eBook How to Become a Proficient English Writer.

If you want to avoid all this and improve your writing, send me a message today.
Let me see if I can help you and give some advice.