The editing lessons in our proofreading course stress the importance of achieving fluency.
It is important to remember that newspapers and websites usually use short, simple sentences with one, or maximum two, sentences per paragraph.
We make no apology for emphasising simplicity on our proofreading distance learning course. You don’t have to look far today to find copy with sentences that are too long, or complex in their construction.
A good copy editor will use their editorial skills by dividing them up, or turning them round, to make them easier to read. Complex sentence structures might be OK for a book, but not for a newspaper or a webpage, where the reader glances through the copy and does not want to hesitate to work out what you mean.
The best way to achieve fluency is to write as you speak; this always works.
Look at this example:
With treacherous currents and the threat of turbulent sea conditions, the journey will be filled with danger.
A good editor will change it to:
The journey will be filled with danger, with treacherous currents and the threat of turbulent sea conditions.
And then look at this sentence:
Consisting of an abundance of bars, Barcelona is not cheap – a Coke setting you back around €6.
After proper editing, it will read:
Barcelona has an abundance of bars, and it is not cheap. A Coke will set you back around €6.
Our online proofreading course provides many other examples like this, and plenty of exercises to give you practice.
See our proofreading course