In order to make smart decisions about which level of editing is appropriate for your projects, you need to know what factors to evaluate. The assessment that follows will help you determine the proper level of editing for any project.
Bring to mind a specific writing project, then assess how true or not true each of the following statements is. If the statement is absolutely true, score it a five. If the statement is absolutely false, score it a one. If it's sometimes true, sort of true, or maybe true, score it a three. A two implies that the statement is rarely true, and a four implies that the statement is usually true. At the end, tally your scores and read what your total score implies about the appropriate level of editing for your project.
1. Your communication will be distributed only within your organization. _
2. Using the Formality Index, you've determined that your communication is very informal._
3. Your message is upbeat and fun._
4. If your readers misunderstand your message, no negative consequences will result._
5. Your communication is short._
6. Your communication is simple._
7. Your communication includes only one section. For example, it's a 100-word newsletter article, a business letter, a memo, or an E-mail with no attachments._
8. Only one subject is included in your communication._
9. Using the Matrix of Persuasion (see Chapter One), you've determined that your readers are on your side and that they have the resources to do as you ask; in other words, you've assessed your writing task as Easy._
Tally your scores. Your total will be between nine and forty-five. (If you scored each of the nine statements as a one, your total score will be nine. If you scored each a five, your total score will be forty-five.) The higher your score, the lower the level of proofreading you need to undertake.
• 33 to 45 implies that it would be appropriate to proof for clarity and grammar (Level One)
• 20 to 32 implies that it would be appropriate to proof for clarity, grammar, organization, and completeness (Level Two)
• 9 to 19 implies that it would be appropriate to proof for everything (Level Three)
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