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Section 2 Becoming a Researcher/Scholar / Chapter 8 Reviewing and Improving Writing

By Dr. Sherion H. Jackson


1. Introduction


The most common pitfalls for learners as they make improvements in writing and begin publishing their work include the underlying assumptions that proofreading and editing are secondary components of the writing process, that proofreading and editing happen at the end of the writing process, and that this tweaking requires little time. In truth, none of these assumptions about proofreading and editing are true. Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch (1916) described proofreading and editing as “murdering your darlings” (para. 6). While this seems like a harsh term to use for removing or replacing unnecessary wording and sharpening the content focus, many times proofreading and editing do require cutting seemingly wonderful phrases and eliminating content in favor of a more concise and focused topic, making the process a primary component of reviewing and improving writing.