How to Take Constructive (and Not-So-Constructive) Criticism

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How to Take Constructive (and Not-So-Constructive) Criticism

criticismRelevant in all branches of the craft, criticism for writing is bound to find its way to you. Some take it better than others; some give it better than others. We have little control over how we get it, but we indeed have a say in how it’s received. The following are some things to keep in mind when having your writing reviewed (aka, being torn to shreds).

Keep in mind it’s for the greater good.

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Like vs. Such As

STRICTLY (1)This is a very common instance of confusion, although in most cases the two are interchangeable. Only a real stickler (or very dedicated editor) would single these out as errors. In any case, it helps to know what these words’ proper uses are.

Again, if used interchangeably, either like or such as are correct when introducing either a list or comparison:

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An Editor’s Favourite Words to Cut (And Ones to Replace them with)

30447722_sAll-too-common words are usually found at the start of sentences. Often, these words are just filler and set you up to write run-on sentences. The thing is, these words aren’t always necessary to your sentence. When overused, they do more harm than good. And more than anything, these words are boring, stale and lacking in any sort of life.

The following is a list of the most common words that editors either like to cut or replace in text to make the writing more dynamic and appealing. Just because we care so much, we’re including some potential replacements to make things easier. Otherwise, removing these words completely works as a solution in many cases as well.

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The Run-down on Capital Letters

A_(capital_and_small).svgFor the most part, distinguishing between when it’s appropriate to use capital letters is pretty straightforward. Places like the start of a sentence and people’s names are no-brainers. However, there are instances where people use them that aren’t always correct. For the sake of consistency, you should be aware of the right ways to capitalize. So here are the right times to use capital letters.

Most essentially, capitals are used in proper nouns and titles (words that describe specific entities). For example, if you were to use the word president on its own, it would be lower case. If used specifically to describe someone like President Bill Clinton, both the title and the name are capitalized. See how that works? The same principle applies to the word university, for example. You can say someone read many books while attending university. Or you can say they read many books while attending the University of Toronto.

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Spring Cleaning: Is it time to refresh your website?

33960331_sThat dreaded time of year is upon us. Although spring cleaning isn’t the most exciting thing in the world to do, it’s necessary for getting rid of what we no longer need. Both to de-clutter and make room for better things as well as to keep things organized.

A good ol’ fashioned cleanup is particularly important for a website. Because of the nature of anything that lives online, you need to stay on top of things to ensure you’re always up to date and relevant. Whether this pertains to what services you offer, what tone you present yourself in or where you’re located, it’s a good idea to make sure these things are in check from time to time.

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The Importance of Following a Style Guide


If you’re involved in any sort of business, you’re bound to create written material that will in some way, shape or form communicate what you’re doing with the rest of the world. To ensure your quality of writing is consistent (especially if you’re dealing with multiple writers and contributors), you need to develop and follow a style guide. If all contributing parties follow the same guide, you avoid sloppiness and irregularity. And no one needs that to distract from the main message you’re trying to convey. With the amount of discrepancies and exceptions within the English language, we need to select the ones that make the most sense to us. And then stick to them.

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A Breakdown of the Different Types of Editing

2349632625_4eba371b56_zWhen you ask someone to edit a document for you, you need to specify exactly what you want done. Editing takes on several forms that involve varying degrees of time, effort and attention to detail. So, here’s a rundown of the main types of editing so you know exactly what to tell your editor:


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Tips To Stay Focused While Editing

editing-focusStaying focused on a single task without getting distracted can be challenging—especially when you don’t have someone standing over your shoulder. Left to our own devices, this can prove to be quite challenging. And, there’s a distinct difference between the amount of focus necessary for writing and that for editing. While writing is known to flow better with music playing in the background or done outdoors, editing is a whole other ball game.

Editing requires your full, unsullied attention. People have put a substantial responsibility on your shoulders to catch all the mistakes they may have overlooked. After going through you, the final piece needs to be perfect. A mistake made affects your clients’ reputation as well as your own — no pressure! So, to ensure you put your best efforts forward while editing, we’ve come up with a few tips to help you stay focused.

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5 of the Most Common Grammar Mistakes

grammar-mistakesThe world of grammar encompasses a wide range of language rules and an even wider range of ways to mess those rules up. If you’ve ever written anything longer than a few sentences, you’ve probably been on the wrong side of the grammar police. It happens to the best of us.

Here are 5 of the most common blunders and tips to get them right.

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Self-Editing Tip: Little Words that Don’t Need to be There

self-editingIf you’ve been paying attention, you know that using long, complicated words is not the path to clear communication. But even if you’ve learned that lesson and practice it daily, you can still take it a step further.

Within many sentences in every type of writing are little words that just don’t need to be there. They don’t necessarily ruin what you’re trying to say, but your writing will be simpler and more to the point without them. 

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