Readability Check

Your copy may be grammatically correct, with a copyedit – but how’s the readability? For improved readability you may need a line edit, as shown in these before and after edits. See Services for more information on our Combination Edit.


How's your length?

Before edit — The situation in France, complicated by the existence of the Vichy regime, was very different from that elsewhere in western Europe.

After RKedit — The situation in France, complicated by the Vichy regime, was unique in western Europe.

Before edit: — Walt Disney is cryogenically frozen and awaiting the day that medical science can survive him. A Neiman  Marcus customer who was tricked into paying $250 for a cookie recipe is sharing the department store's prized recipe with the world as retribution. While these stories are fun to relate, what they share in common is that they are urban legends.

After RKedit: — Walt Disney is cryogenically frozen and awaits revival by medical science. A Neiman-Marcus customer who was tricked into paying $250 for a cookie recipe takes revenge by sharing the department store's prized recipe with the world. These stories are fun, but are urban legends.

Before edit — In order to arrive at meaningful statistical comparisons, it is first necessary to ascertain whether the figures for different countries were compiled on the same basis and indeed whether they can be considered reliable.

After RKedit — For meaningful comparisons, we first need to know whether the statistics for different countries were similarly compiled and, of course, whether they can be considered reliable.

Before RKedit — for reprint of published article:     

The article has been edited in order to provide a shorter and more appropriate length for classroom use, but without losing the sense of the original article.

After RKedit

The article has been edited to provide a more suitable length for classroom use but without losing the sense of the original.


How's your diction?

Before edit: … a cheerful blond woman.

After edit: … a cheerful blonde.


How's the flow?

Before edit: Nevertheless, by New Year's Day, my resolutions would dissolve into an untidy heap ….

After RKedit: Nevertheless, by New Year's Day my resolutions would dissolve into an untidy heap….

Before edit: The director was there, but true to his promise, watched the dress rehearsal and said nothing.

After RKedit: The director was there, but, true to his promise, watched the dress rehearsal and said nothing.


How's the impact?

Before edit: It was already midnight, but I was strung with nervous energy, having failed to recover from the dreadful news of the day.

After RKedit: It was already midnight but I was strung with nervous energy, having failed to recover from the dreadful news of the day.

Before edit: On top of everything else, she demanded the truth, certain that she was right and I was wrong.

After RKedit: On top of everything else she demanded the truth, certain that she was right and I was wrong.


How’s the ambivalence or confusion?

Before edit: — Maureen Dowd:

He [Rumsfeld] suggested invading Iraq the day after 9/11.

As RKedit prefers:                

The day after 9/11 he [Rumsfeld] suggested invading Iraq.

[Or did he really want to invade on the day after 9/11?]


Where do you want your emphasis to fall?

Before edit: For several minutes, I sat there appalled by what I'd witnessed.

After RKedit: For several minutes I sat there, appalled by what I'd witnessed.

Before: During the flight from Paris to London, I steeled myself against the sensation of being airborne, concentrated as the bright clouds floated past my window. [Here the area of emphasis pulls the sentence backward.]

After RKedit: During the flight from Paris to London I steeled myself against the sensation of being airborne, concentrated as the bright clouds floated past my window.  [Here the emphasis moves the sentence forward].

Before edit: Deer grazed on the meadow, in splotches of sunshine and shade, a scene straight out of a Mary Stewart novel. 

After RKedit: Deer grazed on the meadow in splotches of sunshine and shade, a scene straight out of a Mary Stewart novel.



YOU MAY BE AN EXPERT IN YOUR FIELD, BUT…. You have a service or product to offer and probably know your business. Your ‘experts’ probably know their subject, too but how expert is the writing and editing?

A GOOD TRANSLATOR MAY NOT SUFFICE. If your copy is translated to English, your translator may well be knowledgeable about the language but is he or she a professional writer or book editor?

BELLS & WHISTLES WON'T DO IT!  Your home page may have pop-ups, blinks, moving targets . . . but are you watching your language? Could a good edit bring more clarity and add greater impact for today's "fast track" viewer?



Is your copy
a smooth read?

Here’s Ron’s sample edit/polish of a review from a published slick magazine.

It’s clear, focused, and shows no grammar, spelling, or punctuation problems. But how about tightening it twenty percent for a smoother flow, sharper focus, and greater impact?  It’s less expensive to print, too!

Before RKedit — In the space of two-and-a-half hours, "Traffic" illustrates how the drug trade has insidiously infiltrated all aspects of American society, as well as how the government's 'war on drugs' has been compromised at every step.

After RKedit — In two-and-a-half hours, "Traffic" illustrates how the drug trade has insidiously infiltrated all aspects of American society while the government's 'war on drugs' remains compromised at every step.




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