Keys to Effective Editing – Alaska

Hello folks, and thanks for being such a great class! As promised, here are the PowerPoints and notes from our class discussions. This page is marked “private,” so please bookmark this link. You cannot reach it through my website. And please do not share it with anyone who was not in the training. (It won’t make much sense to them anyway!)

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PowerPoint Presentations:

KTEE 1-5

KTEE 6-10

In-Class Discussions:

Editing Difficulties

Editing Difficulties

These are some of the problems we identified at the start of the class. Remember that the time and work management tools presented in Lesson 1 may be useful in helping to manage these. Also, identify those you struggle with the most and refer to your notebook for incremental assistance as you continue to learn and grow.

Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned

Reference to see what you remember and check against your notes as you continue to learn and grow.

Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned

Surgeon vs. Family Practitioner

Surgeon v Family Practitioner

A brainstorm of some stereotypical terms associated with the surgeon and the family practitioner. Use these to remind yourself of the difference between editing a document (the surgeon) and mentoring another writer (the family practitioner).

Editor vs. Mentor Circumstances

Editor v Mentor Circumstances

Use this list to help you determine when to act as a surgeon (left) and when to act like a family practitioner (right).

USFWS as Author

USFWS as Author

See also “Writer as Author.” The author element of the Writer’s Triangle is complicated by the fact that we work for a large organization. These are some of the characteristics of our writing that result from the fact that we work for a governmental agency.

Writer as Author

Writer as Author

See also “USFWS as Author.” These characteristics of our writing result from the personal investment we make in our documents. As editors, we should respect the work of our writers and consider whether we should defer to them on these matters.

Diagram of Paragraph Lacking Topic Sentences

Diagram of Paragraph Lacking Topic Sentence

When a paragraph is missing the topic sentence, diagram the relationships between the topics and then check the paragraph to find the bits and pieces that could be used to construct a topic sentence.

Paragraph Topics

Paragraph Topics

If you find a topic sentence difficult or impossible to construct, list the topics in a paragraph. Some may need to be moved or even deleted.

Topic Sentence Paragraph Lacking Unity

Topic Sentence Paragraph Lacking Unity

After you identify the topics in the paragraph, construct a sentence that encompasses all of them. Remember to be specific and precise. Ours reads: “Water, land forms, fish, and wildlife comprise the coastal ecosystems of both the Great Lakes and oceans.”

Forecasting Stmt Organizing Sea Turtles

Forecasting Stmt Organizing Sea Turtles

We used the forecasting statement in your notebook to establish two different organizational patterns for a subsection on sea turtles. One organizes the discussion by nesting stages; the other organizes it by turtle types. Your choice will depend upon elements of the Writer’s Triangle.

Consistent Subjects

Consistent Subjects

One way to improve sentences within a paragraph is to check for consistent subjects. If the subjects are abstract (representing thoughts instead of tangible objects) or if the subjects or if the subjects vary widely, think about the topic of the paragraph and revise so it becomes the subject of each sentence.

Consistent Subject Sentence Revision

Consistent Subject Sentence Revision

As you work to keep subjects consistent, also check the distance between the subject and the verb. This sentence could be improved if we revise as follows: “Of the five subspecies of beach mice residing along the GM, four have been listed as threatened or endangered by the USFWS.”

Coordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating Conjunctions

When you memorize the seven coordinating conjunctions, you help yourself apply three comma rules: (1) NEVER use a comma when a coordinating conjunction separates two parts of a sentence; (2) ALWAYS use a comma when a coordinating conjunction separates two independent clauses; and (3) ALWAYS use a comma when a coordinating conjunction separates items in a list (per the GPO).

Parts of Speech

Parts of Speech

A refresher.

Semicolon Rules

Semicolon Rules

The ONLY three situations in which a semicolon is permitted.