How proofreading can help strengthen your written work
There’s a concept among writers called “trimming the fat”, which is essentially the process of cutting out all the padding, all the filler in a piece of written work. To use the analogy of a roasted leg of lamb, we want to enjoy the juicy meat. We don’t want our nourishment to be impeded by the unnecessary fat so we cut it off in order to get the most out of our succulent, nutritious meal. The same idea applies to writing.
Trimming the fat serves numerous purposes depending on the nature of the writing. In the process of proofreading a work of fiction, trimming the fat helps to maintain the pace and flow of the plot. In copywriting it can be beneficial for keeping the focus on the purpose of the copy, whether it’s to sell a product or service or give clear instruction for a technical manual without letting extraneous ‘fluff’ – or fat – get in the way.
For essay writing, trimming the fat is crucial to strengthening or maintaining the strength of an argument. For example, say you were given an essay where you had to argue your position on the “creationism vs. evolution” debate. You would adopt a point of view, articulate it with a number of points (backing them up with some credible quotes or research), acknowledge the other side of the debate and wrap it up, by providing a recap of your points and how they support your opinion. Anything that doesn’t work towards giving credibility to your point of view should be considered “fat” that dilutes the strength of your argument and therefore should be trimmed.
Produce the best written work possible
There are numerous ways a writer can trim the fat from their work themselves before they send it to a professional essay proofreading service. If a sentence is running too long, see if it can be split into two or consider whether it may be bloated and could be shortened. Changing the content from a passive voice (e.g. the ball was passed to me by Billy) to an active voice (e.g. Billy passed me the ball) is beneficial. And of course, the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) Principle is one to keep in mind; why use a long word like hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia when simply saying ‘fear of long words’ will do the job? Overly complicating your work makes it hard to keep things on course, because you’re too busy trying to get your work back on track that you lose sight of the key objectives.
Once you believe you’ve done all you can to trim the fat from your work, sending it to a specialist proofreading business such as Protean Proofreading can take it just that extra step further. A writer can often form an emotional attachment to their work and will find it hard to make necessary edits. A fresh, independent set of eyes with no emotional connection to the work can provide the rational, objective approach to editing that the work might need to elevate it to the next level.
There is no piece of fiction or non-fiction writing that can’t have some fat trimmed, because every set of eyes will look at it from an alternate perspective. But trimming the fat is an important part of the proofreading process, and one that every writer should be comfortable using.