4 ASPECTS OF EDITING

Editing is a professional activity and learned through experience. The things that editors check can be lengthy checklist. We can however summarize four major areas to keep in mind while dealing with any piece of content, whether a blog post or technical report. The editing process can span across minor punctuation corrections to large structural improvements. 4 major areas of content editing 1. Spelling, punctuation, grammarThe first thing you must look out for are the basics of formal language. Cleaning this up should make the content clean and trustworthy. 2. Style: consistencyThis does not refer to the style of writing, but consistency in the way we use capitalization, money and units of measure (USD or $, per cent or %), abbreviations, designations, dates, etc. Every publication may have its style guide set. It is a good practice to adhere to one fixed set of rules. Professional editors are also well acquainted with popular style guides such as the Chicago Manual of Style, APA or that...
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How to watch movies: the action perspective

We watch movies, but movies act on us. They are also multi-dimensional. One could liken or compare The Artist to a portrait, a novel or a symphony. Maybe all rolled up into one huge art and cultural alloy. Movies carry so many dimensions that it is natural to ask: how does one really watch a movie? Like say, The Lord of the Rings, or Baahubali? That might sound kiddish. You simply watch a movie like you read a novel, or look at a painting, or listen to a song. You simply watch it. Or if you have in mind serious reflections, you can check out film analysis and cinema studies, and find out about signs, codes, metaphors and symbols. The language of cinema. But that sort of spoils the actual experience. You wouldn’t want to suddenly begin your cinema studies dissecting symbols and miss out on Black Widow in action. In the past year or two I watched many movies. From Hollywood, Bollywood, and even Tollywood. And the two-hour plus, belief-suspended, intense...
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How to use NLP in writing (make money, and live the life you want)

How to use NLP in writing (make money, and live the life you want)

Here is a little secret about great copywriting known only to a few and that I am now going to reveal to you. It is how the best copywriters (on Madison Avenue) work, make loads of money and live their dream life. As you read this, I am sure you are now eager to know more. They do it by simply using such things as embedded codes and meta frames. If you think you couldn’t match up to their skills, that it would take years of training, and is next to impossible, read this article to know how following these methods can give your writing a cutting edge, and ring your cash registers. If you are reading this sentence, my embedded NLP writing command (‘read this article’) in the previous para worked! Not to mention pacing and leading, chunking up, pre-suppositions, chaining modal operators, social proof, future pacing and more. Some time back, use of neurolinguistic programming or NLP writing techniques was considered...
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A TECHNIQUE FOR WRITING CLEAR, LOGICAL PARAGRAPHS

A valuable skill I learned during my college days was how to structure an essay, and write paragraphs. It may sound simple, but isn’t so for students with English as a second language. Even native speakers, if they haven’t devotedly read Strunk and White, would feel as if they had been asked to climb an insurmountable cliff. Toronto colleges have programs for that College students usually go wrong with this aspect of writing. It’s easy to learn, and here is a simple trick on how to write a clean paragraph, whether the writing is academic or corporate and business communication. But first, let’s brush up on some basics. What is a paragraph: It’s a unit of thought (not length). One paragraph details exactly one main idea. Why are they important: Misunderstanding happens when unrelated ideas get connected, or the reader entirely misses your point. And in the age of social media, clear writing can prevent much…[damage]. Writing clean, logical paragraphs Weak writing can be easily spotted...
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A SIMPLE PRESS RELEASE STRUCTURE

Writing a press release might be the second most boring work in the world (next to watching the 4th edition of Terminator). Here is how to neatly structure all information to create a simple press or media release structure that is reader friendly and easy to follow. Press releases make for good content marketing, and so every organization wants to rush into distributing one. But a badly written press release brings about a downpour of news, facts, dates, figures, claims and statements. Let’s read one such sample: NAIL Group Company, SmartPower, the leading power equipment supplier in the world, has successfully completed the installation of a super-voltage, offshore power plant for the ElectricSmile project, a 1,000 MW (500 turbines of 2 MW) Greenland offshore power generating geography located 20 kms from the sea, and which will supply 100,000 households with green energy. The power units were successfully hauled onto the plant area in Dobohahn, Dejavu on Monday, April 1. The installation was trouble free, and the...
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A SIMPLE STRUCTURE FOR WHITEPAPERS

Someone recently asked whether whitepapers are not dead? Maybe, this is the natural end of whatever marketing touches. What’s a whitepaper all about?As a marketing tool, many companies publish whitepapers. They are given as takeaways (after filling out a form). Press releases are sent out to tell the world that a new whitepaper has just been published. They are supposed to bring in leads and sales (serious buyers), support new product launches, display thought leadership, or simply generate goodwill. Traditionally, a whitepaper explores a problem situation from all perspectives, goes in-depth, and comes out with a reasoned solution or recommendation. What typically forms a whitepaper subject?Churchill wrote a whitepaper on Palestine. And there has been a whitepaper on the use of five words in contracts that can harm closure of construction projects – a whitepaper on why not to use those five words. Usually complex issues form the ideal subject for whitepapers. That means the writer will begin with a broad topic, and then zero-in...
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Project status, tracking template in Excel for content management

Messy and garbled Excel sheets are a nightmare for content writers and managers. To make project tracking simple, I created this flexible and responsive project tracking template Excel sheet. Content writers and project managers sometimes handle loads of documents. A lengthy and multi-point content review process adds to the complexity of knowing the exact situation of each article or content piece. There are many project templates available on the internet. Some are simply timelines templates. But few come close to tackling the details and complexities that exist on the ground for writers and content creators. The Excel project tracker is divided into three neat areas: Writing, Review and Final Status. This makes it easy to switch and check the status of each stage, and prevents the tracker from getting cluttered. The project status template is meant to be maintained by writers, though reviewers too can add their status updates. The tool uses automatic field update features of Excel to reduce manual entry in multiple columns. So when a writer enters a status...
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The not-webby website rankings – India industry

Remember the 1990s style websites? Hyperlinking then was the equivalent of today’s social sharing. And proud felt the sites that displayed blue underlined text. 2015 is a far distance from then, and I thought it would be befitting to take a glance at how websites look and feel in the Indian corporate space. (About the Webby, only 344 websites made it to their list this year, out of a total of 926,530,422 sites worldwide. I wonder if they actually had a look at all of them.) So here are my perceptions, taken in a breeze, of some of the websites in India’s manufacturing, capital goods and heavy industry sectors. The companies are from the current list comprising the respective BSE/NSE sector indices. As will be obvious, the review comments are an outcome of very brief, fleeting impressions, as doing a detailed review was beyond scope. The perspective is of a general, educated reader (not the prime target audience of these websites who would...
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Jargon is king, wants to conquer every written territory

Or give them a headache. Or leave a bad taste in the mouth. People who are doing this are not on Facebook or Buzzfeed or writing on fashion and lifestyle blogs. This kind of business speak is the norm in an awful lot of websites of businesses and industries. It’s shorthand and generic. Like ‘key competencies’, ‘enhanced quality’ and ‘optimized solutions’. Sounds sweet? Just two words doing the work of at least ten. After all, they said brevity was the highest mark of craftsmanship in writing, didn’t they? The damage adjectives can do But they also said, ‘kill adjectives’. Key, enhanced, optimized – they pump in a whole lot of air. I collected a lot of such terms, called jargon (in its avoidable version), while recently doing a light review of nearly fifty manufacturing and heavy industry websites. Most of these terms occurred on the About Us pages. The list is given at the end of this article. Complaining against jargon has become old hat, I know....
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