Keys to Effective Editing

Managers in conservation agencies wear lots of different hats. While “writing instructor” may not be at the top of that list, managers read and review long, technical documents written by their staff. Extensive editing is inefficient. A good manager will learn to delegate writing tasks by training his or her staff to do them consistently and well. Tools such as style guides, guidance documents, and templates can help. Still, staff need a manager that can give them instruction, guidance, and feedback. This course adds a new skill to a leader’s repertoire – the ability to help their staff become efficient and effective writers.

As a writing instructor, you read between the lines to learn from your staff’s writing the challenges they face. You  give feedback in ways that are structured and mindful of the needs of the writer as well as those of the document. And you teach your staff the nuances of a document’s content, audience, and purpose as well as the intricacies of government writing.

As a copyeditor, you can use your time most efficiently by distinguishing between a substantive edit, a copyedit, and a proofread of each document. You can feel more confident in your work when you have style guides and usage manuals to answer common questions definitively. And you can master this new skill set when you begin to see editing as a body of knowledge with a set of best practices and communities for support and engagement.

Aloha, Michelle — It was wonderful to see you last week and thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.  … Those fun turning sentences around exercises or ordering structure to a document are super helpful.  … Cheers!

~MJ Mazurek, Brown Treesnake Program Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Office




Michelle Baker, the Conservation Writing Pro–teaching, writing, and editing so environmental scientists can communicate more clearly!

For inquiries about pricing and available, please contact:

L. Michelle Baker, PhD
441 Walina Street, Apt. 804
Honolulu, HI 96815
304 283 4573
Author: Writing in the Environmental Sciences: A Seven-Step Guide