Posted by: episystechpubs | May 28, 2013

Editor’s Corner: More on editing to improve usage

I hope everyone is feeling relaxed and rested after the three-day weekend. Here is the remainder of the article on self-editing that I sent last week from DailyWritingTips.

· Select the strongest nouns and verbs before you select adjectives and adverbs.
Words that modify nouns and verbs can enhance clarity of thought and vividness of imagery, but if they upstage the words they’re supposed to support, strengthen the actor and action words. When you do so, an adjective or adverb may no longer be necessary.

· Seek opportunities to use repetition for rhetorical effect while, at the same time, you watch for careless redundancy.
Take care that you don’t repeat yourself unless you do so to emphasize your point. [KC – In technical writing, you may explain a difficult topic at a technical level and then restate the information in plain language. Just make sure not to keep repeating the
same thing over and over using same words. I think that’s the equivalent of repeating the same thing to someone (louder each time) who doesn’t speak your language. No matter how many times you say it or how loud you yell it—the recipient is not going to get
it until you use language they understand.]

· Read your draft aloud to help you refine grammar and usage. If something doesn’t sound right to you, it probably doesn’t read right to your audience, either.
Recitation of your writing is time consuming, but that’s how you find the awkward wording or phrasing you didn’t stumble over in your silent review. [KC –This is often something we do as editors when we stumble on something that doesn’t make sense. You may think we are talking to ourselves, but we’re actually reading submissions
out loud to double-check their clarity. No comments from the peanut gallery!]

· Ask someone else to read your writing and critique it.
People you [ask] to read your draft need not offer solutions to problems of grammar, usage, organization, and logic; they can simply highlight problematic words, phrases, sentences, and passages, and offer more detail if necessary while leaving the problem solving to you. [KC – This point refers to personal writing and critiques. As editors here at Jack Henry, it is part of our job to correct grammar, usage, and problem sentences.
We may also offer advice on the structure and logic of a submission since we have experience in instructional design, presenting, teaching, and writing various types of articles. It’s our job to help you communicate as clearly and efficiently as possible!]

When Model-Netics goes wrong…

From F in Exams, by Richard Benson

Kara Church

Senior Technical Editor


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