Writing Like A “P.R.O”By, Ascellia M. Arenas
I’ve been copy editing and providing consultant services, on a professional level, since I was a college student at FAMU. I started out by editing my classmates work and now I have my own publishing company. I currently provide project management, consultation, and facilitation services for my clients. I have published two books and several articles. I have been an educator for 20 years, taught AP Rhetorical Writing, and I worked for College Board as a teacher/trainer of Argumentative/Rhetorical Writing.
If you want to be noticed, you need to create written work that is Profound, Outstanding, and Relevant.
Here are a few tips that I offer my clients that you may benefit from, as well.
1. Great sentences matter.
Sentences are like building blocks. You can stack them together to build a monument to your eloquence. Most writers benefit from making their longest sentences into shorter, more effective ones. You need a subject and a predicate, a noun and a verb, a sentence subject and object. Seems simple enough. Right?
2. Paragraphs can only be as good as you make them.
Good sentences support your ideas. Each idea should be represented in an elaborately written paragraph. Construct complex arguments by combining simple ideas that logically follow one idea.
Every time you address a new idea, add a line break. Long paragraphs are almost always the most difficult to read. Shorter paragraphs the most readable. Your paragraphs should contain at least three to five sentences.
3. Edit and revise, then do it again.
You have heard this since elementary school, but you don’t like to do it because it’s redundant. It’s very necessary. Strike out superfluous words to enhance your writing and highlight your strengths.
Here are some examples of editing notes:
The entire country
On a daily basis (usually best rewritten to “every day”)
She knew that it was good
four-year-old little girl
Improve your sentences by rewriting them using fewer words.
4. Use spell-check. Spell check is your friend.
There’s no excuse for making common spelling errors anymore.
Writing that contains spelling errors are frowned upon and not taken seriously. Trust me, I’m an editor.
5. Share your writing sample with someone who can help you improve.
Peer editing is often more effective than teachers like to admit. Your peers love pulling out their “red pens” to check you. Sharing your work with at least two other people can give you a different perspective and let you know if you are conveying the message you want to share.
Don’t be afraid to read constructive criticism about your writing. Think of it as business, not personal. Pay attention to details and don’t be so hard on yourself. Your writing is as unique as your fingerprints. Your personal style is conveyed through your writing. Do you want to write like a “P.R.O”?
Good, then take your time and do it right.