Check Your English

Check Your English with an editor. An editor is a fresh eye who will help you examine the organizational flow of a text, whether it is reader-friendly and effective. He or she must ask the following questions regarding your manuscript:

Regarding Structure

  1. Do you have a catchy title? 
  2. How long is your book? Do you think you've eliminated redundancies and extraneous materials to make your text sharp and concise?
  3. Do you have a strong beginning which hooks the reader the moment he reads the first few pages?
  4. Do you have strong subtitles hinting on major points of discussion?
  5. Does your outline smoothly lead the reader to a logical conclusion or implication?
  6. Do you have a strong ending that leaves the reader with a take-away value?

Regarding Style

  1. Did you follow a style sheet which the editor can use for reference in checking your style? 
  2. Did you do a grammar check however roughly?
  3. Did you run a spelling check? A punctuation check? 
  4. Did you double check your use of graphic devices for emphasis (display fonts, bold, italics, capitalization, bullet points etc.)?
  5. Did you often consult other specific style reference to help you polish your sentence and paragraph structure? [Example: The Chicago Manual of Style]

Regarding Tone

  1. Did you choose your expressions carefully, that is you've tried as much as possible to use clear and exact vocabulary?
  2. Did you check your text for possible expressions that could be discriminating and/or disrespectful of sub-groups, culture, personal beliefs, gender, ethnicity, etc.?
  3. Did you consult other author's works and tried to imitate their style (if you're a beginning writer, imitation is not a crime)? Will you tell this to your editor?
  4. Do you have the best artist who could do your lay out and/or book cover?
  5. Did you cite your references correctly as you quoted and paraphrased from other materials?

Regarding Marketing and Distribution

  1. Do you have comments from readers of your final draft which the publisher could use as endorsement?
  2. Do you have an event in mind that will find your book useful for its own ends and intentions?
  3. Do you intend to distribute the book commercially or for specific limited use only?
  4. Do you intend to do a book launching along with other marketing gimmicks?
  5. Do you have emergency storage facility?
  6. Did you factor all this in your self-publishing budget?

Your Thoughts in Filipino

Did you often find yourself trying to translate your thoughts in the vernacular into English (Filipino to English)? Can you cite parts of your manuscript where you achieved good results with this process? Or were you limited by this method and you did not find it helpful at all?

You are not alone when you do this of course since you are writing in a second language. However, while some Filipinos writing in English have very good command of this language, a greater number would always find themselves in situations where their thoughts in the vernacular would simply be not easy to translate into English. Often in this situation, they would end up with unsatisfactory equivalents and remain aware of it. In many cases, this is usually the best reason why another person, an editor, should Check Your English.

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