Edit, Rewrite, and Refine

Discussion of the three-stage editing process

Instructions for revising the message, improving the organization, and polishing the mechanics

Examples of rough-draft, redlined, and final documents

The first thing to remember about editing is not to do it while you’re writing the first draft. It’s better to complete the first draft by letting the words pour out so you don’t interrupt your natural flow of ideas. (See Step 2: Know Where You’re Taking Your Readers for a discussion of free-writing.) When you’ve completed the first draft, that’s the time to begin refining your document.

In this step, we’ll look at the editing process rather than at specific editorial changes you may want to make to your document. ...

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