Edit Your Copy for Grammar and Spelling

1. Typos. Running a spell check is not enough. Read your copy aloud. Make someone else read it aloud. Read it backward.

You may think that reading your copy backward is a weird thing to do. But it works. Don’t worry, you are reading the words frontward.

Start with the final sentence and move backward from there. By editing backward, a familiar piece becomes a foreign one. Without the flow of the copy, you have a tight focus on the individual words and phrases. Try it!

2. Check misused words/phrases such as:

  • Your / you’re
  • There / their / they’re
  • Than / then
  • Accept / except
  • Affect / effect
  • Elicit / illicit
  • Who’s / whose
  • Compliment / complement
  • Insure / ensure
  • Its / it’s
  • Which / that

3. Cut weak words that rarely add value to a sentence. Delete unnecessary words, such as:

  • Very
  • Really
  • Quite
  • Extremely
  • Indeed
  • Of course
  • At any rate
  • Nevertheless
  • Due to the fact that
  • It goes without saying

4. Remove industry jargon unless it’s used by your prospects.

5. Review sentence construction and punctuation. Periods, question and exclamation marks, commas. Check that you are using them correctly. Capitalize proper nouns.

6. One last thing. Don’t be a grammar nazi. In copywriting, write the way your audience talks… even if that makes your English teacher cringe.