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Technical Editing

by ;
  • ISBN13:


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  • Edition: 5th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-09-29
  • Publisher: Pearson

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


This market-leading text, which reflects recent changes in technology, workplace practices and the global marketplace, progresses from concepts and basic copyediting to comprehensive editing, management and production issues. The addition of Angela Eaton of Texas Tech University brings a fresh tone to her updates of content and pedagogy while retaining the authoritative voice of Carolyn Rude. Some of the text's changes include an update ot Chapter 6, "Electronic Editing," and examples about editing Web sites are found throughout the text to support the increased role of online resources in every aspect of communication.

Author Biography

CAROLYN RUDE teaches professional writing and chairs the Department of English at Virginia Tech. Before becoming a professor, she worked as a technical writer and editor. She is past president and fellow of the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing. She is also a fellow of the Society for Technical Communication and winner of its Jay R. Gould Award for excellence in teaching. She believes that understanding editing has enhanced her administrative work, not just because of required writing and document design but also because of the focus of comprehensive editing on readers and purposes, reading styles, and project management.


ANGELA EATON (angela.eaton@ttu.edu<mailto:angela.eaton@ttu.edu>) is an Associate Professor of Technical Communication and Rhetoric at Texas Tech University. Her research interests include technical editing, grant writing, and technical communication practices and pedagogies. She is the owner of the technical editing and grant writing firm Angela Eaton & Associates, LLC, is a member of the Association of the Teachers of Technical Writing, and is a senior member of the Society for Technical Communication . She was the 2005-2006 winner of the Society for Technical Communication's $10,000 Research Award. Her research has been published in Technical Communication, Business Communication Quarterly, and three edited collections.


Table of Contents


1. Editing: The Big Picture.

Scenario One: A Full-Time, In-House Editor.

        The Product Team.

        Planning for Design and Production

        Editorial Review

        Client Review

Scenario Two: A Freelance Editor.

        The Team, the Project, and the Process.

Comment: Editing In-House and Freelance.

The Editing Process.

        Text Editing.

        Comprehensive Editing

            Basic Copyediting


Preparing Documents for Publication.

Document Development and Production: Summary of the Process.

The Technical Part of Technical Editing.

        Technical Subject Matter and Method.

        Technical Genres.

What Skills Does a Technical Editor Need?

Reader Expert.

Communication Expert

Language Expert.

            Technical Editors Deal Tactfully with Writers

            Technical Editors Manage Projects Competently

Technical Editors Aren’t Afraid of Technical Information

Technical Editors Double-Check Their Instincts

Using Your Knowledge

Discussion and Application


2. Readers, Users, Browsers, Problem Solvers.

Texts and Contexts.

        Origins and Impact: The Problem and Solution.

        Readers and Use of the Document.

        Culture and Expectations.


        Constraints on Development and Production.

        Context in Review.

How Readers Use Documents.

        Creating Meaning.

        Reading Selectively.

Reading To Comprehend: Content, Signals, Noise.



        Undesirable Signals: Noise.

Researching Readers, Usability Testing.

Designing Documents for Use.

Using Your Knowledge.

Further Reading.

Discussion and Application.

            What Is “Open Heart Surgery”? by Donald L. Bricker, M.D.


3. Collaborating with Writers.

Who Are the Writers of Technical Documents?

The Editor–Writer Relationship.

What Writers Like Most about Editors

What Writers Dislike Most about Editors

Strategies for Working with Writers.

        Edit Effectively.

        Manage Efficiently and Communicate Well.

            Be Your Professional Self

Correspondence with Writers.

        Queries and Comments

        Letters of Transmittal.

        Corresponding with International Writers.

Using Your Knowledge.

Discussion and Application.



4. Marking Paper Copy.

The Symbols of Editorial Markup.

        Placing the Marks on the Page.

        Marking Consistently.

        Distinguishing Marginal Notes from Text Emendations.

Special Problems of Markup.


        Hyphens and Dashes.

        Ambiguous Letters and Symbols; Unusual Spellings.

        Headings, Tables, References, and Lists.


Marks for Graphic Design.

Queries to Writers.

Using Your Knowledge.

Discussion and Application.

Computer Viruses


5. Marking Digital Copy.

Procedural Markup versus Structural Markup.

Styles and Templates.

Markup Languages for Online Documents.




Cascading Style Sheets.

Editing and Information Management.

Using Your Knowledge.

Discussion and Application.


6. Electronic Editing by David Dayton.

How Do Technical Communicators Edit Online?

        What’s It to You?

An Overview of On-Screen Markup and Query Methods.

         Automated Typographic Markup.

       Manual Typographic Markup.

        Electronic Overlay Markup.

        Electronic Queries.

Benefits of Electronic Editing.

            Working Efficiently at a Distance

            Speeding Up the Process

            Semi-Automating tedious Tasks

            Improving Job Satisfaction

Tradeoffs of Electronic Editing.

        The Problem of On-Screen Markup.

        Reading Difficulties and Quality Concerns.

        Portability and Compatibility Constraints.

        The Hazards of Heavy Computer Use.

Change Tracking in Word: Tips and Techniques.

        Configuring and Activating Track Changes.

        Tips for Using Track Changes in Word.

Using Your Knowledge.

Websites for Products Mentioned

Discussion and Application.



7. Basic Copyediting: An Introduction.

Making the Document Correct and Consistent.

Making the Document Accurate.

Making the Document Complete.

        Parts of a Book, Manual, or Long Report.

        Parts of a Website.

Copyediting Illustrations.

        Parts of Illustrations.

        Callouts, Legends, Captions, and Footnotes.

        Placement of Illustrations in the Text.

        Quality of Reproduction.

Copyediting Online Documents.

Steps in Copyediting.

Using Your Knowledge.


8. Copyediting for Consistency.

Document Consistency.

        Verbal Consistency.

        Visual Consistency.

        Consistency of Mechanics.

        Structural Consistency.

        Content Consistency.

        A Foolish Consistency…

Style Manuals.

        Comprehensive Style Manuals.

        International Style Manuals.

        Discipline Style Manuals.

        Organization (“House”) Style Manuals.

        Document Style Sheet.

Using Your Knowledge.

Discussion and Application.


9. Spelling, Capitalization, and Abbreviations.


        Guidelines and Tools.

        Frequently Misused Words.

        International Variations.



        Identifying Abbreviations.

        Periods and Spaces with Abbreviations.

        Latin Terms.

        Measurement and Scientific Symbols.


Using Your Knowledge.

Discussion and Application.


10. Grammar and Usage.

Parts of Speech.

Sentence Structure.

        Verbs and Sentence Patterns.

        Adjectives, Adverbs, and Modifying Phrases.

Relationships among Words in Sentences.

        Subjects and Predicates.

Verb Tense and Sequence.


        Misplaced Modifiers.

        Dangling Modifiers.


Conventions of Usage.

Using Your Knowledge.

Discussion and Application.


11. Punctuation.

Clauses, Conjunctions, and Relative Pronouns.

        Independent and Dependent Clauses.


        Relative Pronouns.

Sentence Types and Punctuation.

        Punctuating Simple Sentences: Don’t Separate the Subject and Verb with a Single Comma.

        Punctuating Compound Sentences: Determine Whether There Is a Coordinating Conjunction.

        Punctuating Complex Sentences.

        Punctuating Compound-Complex Sentences.

Punctuating Phrases.

        Series Comma and Semicolon.

        Commas with a Series of Adjectives (Coordinate Adjectives).


        Introductory and Interrupting Phrases.

Punctuation within Words.

        The Apostrophe.

        The Hyphen.

Marks of Punctuation.

        Quotation Marks.




        Ellipsis Points.

        Typing Marks of Punctuation to Emulate Typesetting.

Using Your Knowledge.

Discussion and Application.


12. Quantitative and Technical Material.

Using Numbers.


Marking Mathematical Material.



            Grammar and Punctuation

        Markup for Typesetting.



        General Guidelines.

        Application: Editing a Table.

Standards and Specifications.

Using Your Knowledge.

Discussion and Application.


13. Proofreading.

Distinguishing Proofreading from Copyediting.

The Value and Goals of Proofreading.

Proofreading Marks and Placement on the Page.

Using Your Knowledge.

Discussion and Application.



14. Comprehensive Editing: Definition and Process.

Example: Copyediting versus Comprehensive Editing.

The Process of Comprehensive Editing.

        Analyze the Document’s Purpose, Readers, and Uses.

        Evaluate the Document.

        Establish Editing Objectives.

        Review Your Editing Plans with the Writer.

        Complete the Editing.

        Evaluate the Outcome.

        Review the Edited Document with the Writer or Product Team.

Application: The Service Call Memo.



        Editing Objectives.

        The Outcome of Editing.

Determining Whether Comprehensive Editing is Warranted.

Using Your Knowledge.

Discussion and Application.


15. Style: Definition and Sentence Structures.

Definition of Style.

        Writer’s Persona and Tone.

        Style and Comprehension.

Example: Analysis of Style.

Guidelines for Editing for Style.

Context: Make Style Serve Readers and Purpose.

Sentence Structures: Use Structure to Reinforce Meaning.

        Place the Main Idea of the Sentence in the Structural Core.

        Use Subordinate Structures for Subordinate Ideas.

        Use Parallel Structure for Parallel Items.

Sentence Arrangement.

        Place the Subject and Verb Near the Beginning of the Sentence.

        Arrange Sentences for End Focus and Cohesion.

        Prefer S-V-O or S-V-C Word Order.

Sentence Length and Energy.

        Adjust Sentence Length to Increase Readability.

        Use People as Agents When Possible.

        Prefer Positive Constructions.

Using Your Knowledge.

Discussion and Application.


16. Style: Verbs and Other Words.

Verbs: Convey the Action in the Sentence Accurately.

        Build Sentences around Action Verbs.

        Choose Strong Verbs.

        Avoid Nominalizations.

        Prefer the Active Voice.

Use Concrete, Accurate Nouns.

        Prefer Single Words to Phrases or Pairs and Simple to Complex Words.

Application: Editing for Style.


        Evaluation and Review.

The Language of Discrimination.

        Application: Discriminatory Language.

        Editing for a Nonsexist Style.

Using Your Knowledge.

Discussion and Application.


17. Organization: The Architecture of Information.

Organization for Performance: Task-Based Order.

Organization for Comprehension: Content-Based Order.

Principles of Content Organization.

        Follow Pre-Established Document Structures.

        Anticipate Reader Questions and Needs.

        Arrange from General to Specific and Familiar to New.

        Use Conventional Patterns of Organization:

        Match Structure to Meaning.

        Group Related Material.

        Use Parallel Structure for Parallel Sections.

Paragraph Organization.

        Linking Sentences.

        Repetitions and Variations.

Application: The Problem Statement for a Research Proposal.

Organizing for Reuse.

Using Your Knowledge.

Discussion and Application.


18. Visual Design.

Definitions of Terms Related to Visual Design.

Visual Design Options.

        Page layout.


        Display of information.

        Structural Signals, Navigation.

Functions of Visual Design.






        Headings Levels.

        Heading Frequency.

Application: Radar Target Classification Program.

Using Your Knowledge.

Discussion and Application.


19. Editing Illustrations.

What Illustrations Do.

        Help Readers Understand and Use Information.

        Motivate Readers, Convey Values.

Types of Illustrations.

Editing Illustrations for Accuracy and Clarity: Content, Organization, and Style.

        Content: Appropriateness and Number, Accuracy and Clarity.

        Match of Form, Content, and Purpose=.

        Organization: Sequential and Spatial.

        Style: Discriminatory Language and Good Taste.

Editing for Graphic Elements.

        Emphasis and Detail.

        Perspective, Size, and Scale.

        Maximizing Data Ink.

Integrating Text and Illustrations.

        Placement on the Page or Screen.

        Nonverbal Instructions.

Application: Cassette Instructions.

Preparing Illustrations for Print or Online Display.

Using Your Knowledge.

Discussion and Application.


20. Editing for Global Contexts.

Preparing Documents for a Global Workplace.

International Rhetorical Expectations.

Globalization versus Localization.


        Terminology Management and Controlled Language.

        International English.

        Using Visual Instructions.



        Writing to Facilitate Translation: Minimize Ambiguity.

        Translation Quality.

        Machine Translation.

        Other Localization Tips.

Researching Social and Cultural Information.

Using Your Knowledge.

Discussion and Application.



21. Legal and Ethical Issues in Editing.

Legal Issues in Editing.

        Intellectual Property: Copyright, Trademarks, Patents, Trade Secrets.


        Permissions and “Fair Use”.

        Copyright and Online Publication.

        Trademarks, Patents, and Trade Secrets.

        Product Safety and Liability.

        Libel, Fraud, and Misrepresentation.

Ethical Issues in Editing.

        Users, Clients, and Employers.

        Misrepresentation of Content or Risks.

        Professional Codes of Conduct.

        Environmental Ethics.

        Bases for Ethical Decisions.

Establishing Policies for Legal and Ethical Conduct.

Using Your Knowledge.

Discussion and Application.


22. Type and Production.

Working with Type.

        Fonts and Their Uses.

        Font Selection.

        Type Size.

        Leading, Letterspacing, Wordspacing, and Line Length.

        Design Tips for Beginning Designers.

Working with Illustrations.



        Correction of Photographs.

        Photographic Releases from Subjects.

Choosing Paper.

Understanding the Production Process for Print Documents.

        Desktop Publishing and Digital Printing.

        Fullscale Commercial Services: Typesetting, Page Makeup, and Offset Printing.


Working with Commercial Printers.

        Obtaining a Quotation from a Printer.

        Delivering Materials to the Printer.

Using Your Knowledge.


Discussion and Application.


23. Project Management.

The Case for Managing the Document Development Process.

The Life-Cycle Model of Publications Development.


Estimating Time and Developing Budgets.

        Classification of Editorial Tasks and Responsibilities.

        Record Keeping.


        Setting Priorities.

Document Scheduling and Tracking.

        Scheduling Due Dates

Scheduling reviews.

        Tracking the Document through Development and Production.

        Version Control.


Setting Policy.

Project Management for Online Documents.

Using Your Knowledge.

Discussion and Application.


24. Client Projects.

Selecting a Good Project.

Project Plans and Proposals

Analysis and Evaluation

Objectives and Deliverables.

Schedule and responsibilities


Establishing a Contract

Conferencing with the Writer or Client

            Conference Organization

            Review of the Edited Document

            The Language of Good Relationships

            Further Arrangement

Presenting the Project Orally

            Content, Organization, and Illustrations



Using Your Knowledge

Discussion and Application


Supplemental Materials

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The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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