7 Tips for Better Editorial Composition
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. Use active voice
  2. Maintain consistency
  3. Apply precise wording
  4. Keep sentences and paragraphs short
  5. Include transitions
  6. Focus on the reader
  7. Proofread and edit

Writing is an art, and like any art, it requires practice and a touch of finesse to perfect. One area where you can make a significant difference in your writing is editorial composition. Whether you're a seasoned journalist or a budding blogger, understanding how to improve composition in editorial can take your work from good to great. Let's dive into seven practical tips that can help you elevate your editorial composition.

Use Active Voice

Active voice is a friend to clear and engaging writing. It brings life to your sentences, making them more direct and dynamic. Instead of burying the action in the sentence, active voice puts it front and center. It's the difference between "The blog post was written by me" (passive voice) and "I wrote the blog post" (active voice).

Using active voice helps you to:

  • Craft clear sentences: Active voice makes it easier for readers to understand who is doing what in your sentences. It removes any ambiguity and prevents your writing from sounding vague or dull.
  • Engage your readers: Active voice is more engaging and energetic. It helps you make a stronger connection with your readers and hold their attention.
  • Streamline your writing: Active voice often requires fewer words than passive voice, helping you to keep your sentences short and crisp.

So, next time when you're working on your editorial, challenge yourself to use active voice as much as possible. It's a simple yet effective way to improve your composition in editorial and make your writing more powerful and engaging.

Maintain Consistency

Consistency is a key element of solid editorial composition. It helps your readers follow along with your thoughts and makes your writing feel more fluid. Let's take a look at how maintaining consistency can elevate your writing and improve your editorial composition.

First, let's discuss consistency in terms of voice and tone. Whether you're writing an informative guide or a lighthearted blog post, it's important to keep a consistent voice and tone throughout your piece. Switching between a formal tone and a casual one could confuse your reader and disrupt the flow of your writing.

Next, let's talk about consistency in terms of formatting and structure. Consistency in formatting means sticking to the same rules for headings, bullet points, numbered lists, and so on. Consistency in structure involves following the same pattern or layout throughout your work. Both of these aspects are crucial in ensuring your piece is easy to read and navigate.

Lastly, consistency in content is equally important. This means keeping your writing relevant to the topic at hand and ensuring every point adds value to your overall argument or message.

So, remember, consistency isn't just about repeating the same ideas over and over. It's about creating a seamless reading experience by maintaining a steady voice, tone, format, structure, and content. Doing so is a surefire way to improve your editorial composition and captivate your readers from start to finish.

Apply Precise Wording

Another tip on how to improve composition in editorial is to be precise in your word choice. Precise wording is the mark of a skilled writer—it makes your writing clear, concise, and compelling. Let's dive into how you can apply precise wording in your editorial composition.

First, let's talk about clarity. When it comes to writing, less is often more. Don't cloud your reader's understanding with unnecessary jargon or complex vocabulary. Instead, go for clear and simple words that accurately convey your meaning.

For example, instead of saying "The company implemented a plethora of measures to ameliorate their financial situation", you could say "The company took many steps to improve their finances". The second sentence is much easier to understand, isn't it?

Next up is conciseness. This means getting your point across in as few words as possible. Why use five words when one will do? For instance, instead of saying "The meeting will take place at 10 AM in the morning", you could simply say "The meeting is at 10 AM". It's short, sweet, and straight to the point.

Finally, let's touch on compelling wording. Your choice of words can evoke emotion, create vivid imagery, or persuade your reader. This can make your writing more engaging and memorable. For instance, instead of just saying "The sunset was nice", you could say "The sunset painted the sky with a breathtaking palette of colors". Sounds more vivid and engaging, right?

So, remember, precise wording isn't about using big, fancy words. It's about choosing the right words to make your writing clear, concise, and compelling. And that's a surefire way to improve your editorial composition.

Keep Sentences and Paragraphs Short

When it comes to improving composition in editorial, another handy tip is to keep your sentences and paragraphs short. This strategy can significantly boost the readability of your content, making it easier for your audience to engage with and understand. So, let's break down why this is important and how you can put it into practice.

Imagine reading a lengthy sentence that goes on and on—like a winding road with no end in sight. It's exhausting, isn't it? That's exactly how your readers feel when they encounter long, complex sentences. Short sentences, on the other hand, are like quick jogs: they're easier to handle and less likely to tire out your readers.

Let's take an example. Instead of writing, "The team held a meeting, during which they discussed several critical issues and came up with a range of solutions, which they planned to implement over the following weeks," you can say, "The team held a meeting. They discussed several critical issues and came up with solutions. These will be implemented over the following weeks." Shorter sentences are easier to digest, aren't they?

Similarly, long paragraphs can be intimidating. They look like walls of text that can deter your readers. Shorter paragraphs, however, are more inviting and manageable. They create white space on the page, giving your readers' eyes a break.

So, how short should your sentences and paragraphs be? There's no hard and fast rule, but a good guideline is to aim for around 15-20 words per sentence and 3-4 sentences per paragraph. Remember, the goal here is readability. Keep it short and sweet to make your editorial composition more reader-friendly.

Include Transitions

The art of good editorial composition is much like arranging pieces of a puzzle; each piece should fit seamlessly with the others. That’s why it's important to include transitions in your writing. Transitions are like bridges that connect ideas, sentences, and paragraphs, guiding your readers smoothly from one point to the next.

Consider this: you wouldn’t walk from one room to another without opening a door, would you? Similarly, your readers should not have to jump from one idea to another without a link or connection. Transitions serve as those links, helping your readers navigate your content with ease.

Transitions can be simple words or phrases like 'however', 'in addition', 'on the other hand', and 'for instance'. These words and phrases guide the reader through your thoughts, making your writing flow better. Here’s an example: "The restaurant was incredibly busy. However, the staff managed to maintain excellent service."

When you're wondering how to improve the composition in your editorial, don't overlook the power of transitions. They can make your writing clearer, more coherent, and ultimately, more engaging to your readers. So, remember to open those doors and build those bridges—it'll make your readers' journey through your content a smooth and enjoyable one.

Focus on the Reader

Ever found yourself engrossed in a book, feeling as if the author wrote it just for you? That's the magic of focusing on the reader. When thinking about how to improve composition in an editorial, a crucial tip is to keep your reader at the center of your story. After all, they're the reason you're writing!

Imagine you're having a conversation with your reader. What do they want to know? What are their interests? What problems are they facing that you can help solve? By answering these questions, you can create content that is relevant and engaging to your audience.

Let's say you're writing an editorial about climate change. You could start with a generic introduction about the effects of climate change. But imagine if you started with, "You might have noticed the unusually hot summers in your hometown lately. That's not a coincidence—it's a sign of climate change." By addressing your reader directly, you're making your content more personal and relatable, which can hold your reader's interest.

Remember, your editorial is not just about presenting facts and arguments—it's about connecting with your reader on a deeper level. So, focus on your reader. Speak their language, address their concerns, and let them know you're in this together. Trust me, your readers will thank you for it.

Proofread and Edit

How many times have you heard that the devil is in the details? Well, when it comes to improving your editorial composition, this old saying holds true. One of the most significant steps in the composition process is to proofread and edit your work.

Imagine this: You've spent hours researching, outlining, and writing an engaging editorial. You're confident it's perfect, but upon reading it again, you spot numerous spelling errors, a few awkward sentences, and a couple of factual inaccuracies. What a bummer, right?

This is where proofreading and editing come in. These crucial steps allow you to fine-tune your work, ensuring it's as polished and accurate as possible. It's like the final coat of paint that turns a good piece into a masterpiece.

But remember, effective proofreading and editing aren't just about catching spelling and grammar mistakes. It's also about checking for clarity, coherence, and consistency. Are your ideas presented clearly and logically? Have you maintained a consistent tone and style throughout your piece? Are your facts and data accurate and up-to-date?

If you answer 'yes' to all these questions, congratulations! You're well on your way to mastering the art of editorial composition. But remember, like any other skill, it takes practice and patience to perfect. So keep writing, keep editing, and don't forget to have fun along the way.

If you enjoyed learning about editorial composition and want to take your skills even further, don't miss the workshop 'Editorial Submissions: Shoot Development To Publication' by Jose Espaillat. This workshop will guide you through the entire process of creating and submitting a successful editorial, enhancing your understanding of composition and helping you get your work published.