Monday, June 7, 2010

Improve Your Demand Studios Rewrite Rate and Scores

I have been writing for Demand Studios since April 2008. I've had my share of joys and struggles there. I recently became a copy editor for DS (yes...I am now a CE) and being on the other side of the screen provides quite the education.

I will not go into details about the quality of writing I face, working to edit 75+ articles per week, but let's leave it with this: it's been an eye opener.

I've thought about compiling a list of PLEASE DON'T DO THIS for writers at DS, such as:

  • "are required to" - just change this phrase to "must," for goodness sake. Fewer words and BONUS - you shifted from active to passive voice.
  • "in order to" - just delete it. Really. It adds nothing.
  • passive voice - many writers THINK they know what this means, but when asked for a rewrite they clearly do not understand how to convert from passive to active voice. "Dinner was served" becomes "The waiter served dinner." "Degrees are granted" becomes "The university grants degrees" - see the pattern?
  • bachelor's degree - yes, but it's Bachelor of Science in Nursing, not bachelors degree in nursing. Check AP style guidelines when writing about degrees and colleges.

I don't have time to list the most common errors I see - but these are the ones that scream out to me. Meanwhile, Willow at The Freelance Home Writer has a GREAT post about tools for writers at DS - search engines and grammar checkers that help reduce rewrites and errors.

Check it out. You might save a CE some hair.

1 comment:

Jim Woodruff said...

Your observations are excellent. I've learned a lot since I started writing for DS. I've found that I make mistakes without even realizing that I'm making a mistake. Please publish a list with more of the common errors that you see. They are incredibly eye-opening.