Editing

Peer Review Strategies for Technical Writers

Writers’ groups have existed for as long as there have been writers. Their goal, other than providing an excuse to gather with kindred spirits over coffee or beer, is to obtain expert critiques of your writing. By understanding the comments and learning to distinguish between valid and invalid criticisms, you learn to write better stories. I’ve participated in such groups, and members have ranged from supporters who actually cared about my aspirations as a writer to ruthless egotists who mostly wanted to prove how much better they were than me. Most technical writers have encountered this approach in the form of peer review, but peer review most often has a different focus: to replace a full-time editor rather than to teach writers to write better. Continue reading ...

Managing Edits for an Online Help Monster

As a technical writer developing large online help projects, I faced challenges in managing the editing process–specifically, ensuring consistency across each of the help files and controlling versions of the help as edits are made. In this article, I describe the editing structure and process adopted in our department to help address these problems, which, […] Continue reading ...

Escape from the Grammar Trap

Too many editors focus on the details and don’t pay enough attention to the bigger picture. Editors can–and should–add even more value through substantive, technical, and usability editing. Copyediting is important, but the details are only part of what an editor can and should be reviewing. After all, a document can be correctly spelled and […] Continue reading ...