Editing for grammar is important. However, editing of content should not be overlooked in lieu of grammar edits. This is not to say that you should forgo grammar and spelling. The content that is presented must be as free of not only grammar errors but also inaccuracies, continuity errors, organization, and lazy research.
Inaccuracy can cause a reader to lose trust in a writer. While accuracy is important, so is the presentation of the information. Rambling on about two unrelated subjects will give a disjointed feeling. Disjointed and choppy writing comes across as mediocre and is very distracting for a reader. Soon more attention is paid to the lack of fluidity than the writing. This is one of the main reasons that readers will put a book down and not read anything new from the writer.
Another issue presented when an edit of content becomes overlooked is continuity errors. Was a character’s shirt yellow on one page and then red on the next? When did they have time to change clothes? It is a common practice for writers to change the order of their scenes to make things flow smoother. Editing of the content is helpful to make sure these errors are corrected.
Next, there is the organization of material presented. There needs to be a clear beginning, middle, and end of a work. This consistency is another element with which readers are already familiar. This is a critical point of contact with a reader. Organization to meet a reader’s expectation is a must.
Lastly, there is lazy research. If you are not willing to do your research then readers may wonder if they are worth your time or if you have merely slapped words on the paper to get the job done. Relationships with a reader are very important. Editing or lack thereof shows a reader how much thought was put into what they are reading. Set yourself up for success and build this simple reader relationship.
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