At R3ciprocity, we strive to make the platform intuitive to use. We want our writers and editors to benefit from R3ciprocity’s sharing economy as soon as they have access to the platform.
We also know that, no matter how intuitive, it’s helpful to have a set of instructions. Our recently expanded Help section now includes a guide for new writers. The guide includes step-by-step instructions for managing your document library, using R3ciprocity’s built-in editing tools, and sending your documents to the editing queue.
In addition, we’ve put together some tips to help you get started if you’re new to the R3ciprocity platform.
One: Experiment with R3ciprocity’s editing tools
R3ciprocity gives you access to an advanced AI-powered set of editing tools, and one of the first things you’ll want to do is explore them. You’ll get the most out of R3ciprocity if you try them out before you need to use them for your next assignment or manuscript.
To go hands-on with R3ciprocity’s editing tools, you’ll need to upload a document to your My Documents tab. (Check out our Getting Started guide for step-by-step instructions.) You’ll see the editing tools among the options displayed on your document’s tile. Currently, the following editing tools are available to the R3ciprocity community:
- Grammar checker: Correct spelling and grammar errors.
- Plagiarism checker: Look for passages or phrases which may need citation.
- Sentiment Analysis: Make sure that your tone is both engaging and appropriate for your audience.
R3ciprocity’s editing tools give you valuable information about your document. It’s definitely worth experimenting with all of them. However, you might not use them all at the same time. For example, you may find that analyzing your tone and checking for accidental plagiarism are best done at two different points in your writing process. R3ciprocity’s modular approach to editing means that each tool is available when you need it.
Two: Know what you need from your editor
R3ciprocity editors are available to review your work at any point in your writing process. But there are several types of editing, and they don’t all happen at the same time. Knowing what kind of editing you need before you send your document to the editing queue will help you to get the most out of your review.
Different types of editing are useful at different points in your writing process. For example, developmental editing happens when you are still putting your ideas in place and connecting them. Copy and line editing are more narrowly focused on the words you choose. Proofreading for spelling, grammar, and consistency happens at the very end.
In most cases, you’ll move from broad developmental editing to more specific line and copy editing, and then finally, proofreading. However, that won’t always be the case. R3ciprocity editors understand that writing isn’t necessarily a linear process. The information you provide about where you are in your writing process helps them focus on the type of editing you need at that moment.
Three: Plan time for editing
You’ll receive a lot of useful feedback from R3ciprocity’s editors and editing tools. Be sure to plan time to work through it all.
Some popular grammar tools make changes to your text automatically; others wait for you to accept their suggested change before moving on to the next instance. Automated tools like these offer quick fixes to common mistakes, but they are not comprehensive editing tools. R3ciprocity’s approach is different.
The R3ciprocity platform doesn’t automate corrections. Instead, it shows you the context. Tool suggestions are highlighted in a page view, editor’s suggestions are shown side-by-side with your original text, and you choose how to incorporate those suggestions into your text.
R3ciprocity’s comprehensive approach lets you look holistically at the editorial changes you will make, but it also means that you will want to build in focused time for the editing process.
Four: Take a break
Writing and editing are strenuous activities. When your writing brain is fatigued, it begins to see what it knows should be there, rather than what is actually there–a phenomenon known as typoglycemia.
It can take several days before you’re able to see your text with fresh eyes. And you’ll certainly want fresh eyes when you begin to edit your text for fine details. However, you don’t need to let your text languish while you wait. This may be a perfect time to have a R3ciprocity editor proofread your document.
Five: Be engaged in the editing process
R3ciprocity encourages you to become engaged in the editing process:
- R3ciprocity editors provide detailed comments and explanations.
- The editing tools show you errors and suggestions in context so that you can see patterns in your writing.
- You choose the R3ciprocity tools you use and when you use them.
Being engaged means that you are making editorial changes with intention and direction, and being engaged in the process of editing your own work makes you a better writer.
Bonus Tip: Join the R3ciprocity community
Don’t have a R3ciprocity account yet? (Not quite sure what R3ciprocity is all about? You should read this post.) Check out our Getting Started guide and become a part of a growing R3ciprocity community of writers and editors!
Matt Murphy grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He now lives in Williamsburg, Virginia with his wife and daughter. Matt is a freelance proofreader, editor, and technical writer with nearly 10 years experience as a business and technical communicator working in federal government HR. He finds a well-written user manual extremely satisfying, and a good cup of tea even more so.
R3ciprocity helps students, faculty, and researchers by providing an authentic look into PhD and academic life, and how to be a successful researcher. For over four years the project has been offering advice, community, and encouragement to students and researchers around the world. (check out the YouTube Channel or the writing feedback software)