The final edits
These last suggestions are based on my experience as a peer reviewer for a journal and a writing teaching. I find that changing writing mode helps to pinpoint mistakes. I usually print out a hard copy to review. I ALWAYS find mistakes on print even if I have reviewed a paper digitally numerous times. The following are some of the more common mistakes I often see:
1) Make sure you review the style standards. This includes paragraphs, headings, and reference styles. Working across disciplines, I am familiar with the various styles you may be asked to use. if no style has been chosen, choose one style and stick with it. Often, though, there is a document you can model.
2) Make sure you paragraphs are not too long. I often read papers with page long paragraphs; this is too long. Review your document to see if you can break up overly long paragraphs.
3) Review, check, and recheck references in text and your reference list at the end of your writing. I usually do this with a partner to make sure I don't miss something. I will have them read out a citation which I check against my reference list, making notes on adjustments as I go.
4) Check figures, tables, and illustrations and their headings. Make sure they are close enough to the copy and/or there are references to them.
5) Check for orphaned lines/headings. One of my pet peeves is to have a heading end a page.
6) Write for scanning and search. Don't forget to include relevant key words. Also make sure a paper or report or even dissertation/thesis has enough sections and headings. Most people today don't have a lot of time. So the first thing they do is scan. This is where graphics, headings, subheadings, and short paragraphs help. If writing is too dense, you'll lose the reader from the very beginning.
7) Set a deadline. I mentioned this in my first post on revision tips and it is especially important as you end the revision process. Allow yourself only a short time to make revisions (i.e. 2 weeks). This will help prevent you from overthinking your revisions and trying to create the "perfect paper" which never gets published or presented to the appropriate audiences. You may need to make revisions a 2nd or 3rd time, but leave that decision up to the reviewers.
- V Yonkers
- Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.