Improve and Clarify Your Text in Eight Easy Steps
Many people today edit, sometimes unknowingly. If you’ve ever clarified one sentence in your own or someone else’s email or report, you’ve acted as an editor.
In this one-day course, Eight-Step Editing takes some of the highly honed skills that are second nature to professional editors and breaks them down into a sequence of eight actions that will improve and clarify text while retaining the author’s voice.
• Systematically improve your own writing
• Break the editorial process down into a series of manageable tasks
• Improve the readability of your documents
• Understand the way people read today
Part 1: Reduce the effort required of the reader
• Step 1: Shorten sentences. Break up long sentences and improve the document’s fog index.
• Step 2: Take out the trash. Remove meaningless and unnecessary phrases—the verbal ticks that permeate writing.
• Step 3: Deflate fat words. Eliminate many of the accretions—prefixes and suffixes that have been grafted onto shorter root words—and watch the words sparkle.
• Step 4: Reduce negatives. Remove the negations that add a layer of opaqueness to a document.
Part 2: Improve energy levels
• Step 5: Eliminate the equations. Raise the energy level in a document by looking for and eliminating unnecessary use of the verb “to be.”
• Step 6: Activate the passives. Use active transitive verbs to increase energy and vitality in a document.
Part 3: Help the reader’s thought patterns
• Step 7: Lead with strength. Find the sentence, paragraph, or illustrations that best grabs the readers’ attention and move it to the beginning.
• Step 8: Tune up topic sentences. Start a new paragraph every time you shift to a new point of view to keep the thread of meaning flowing within a document.
There are no prerequisites for this course.
All those who edit their own writing and help colleagues edit theirs. Note: this course does not teach the mechanics of editing, i.e., spelling, grammar, or punctuation but rather teaches an approach to editing.