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Slides from STC Summit 2011 presentation by Michelle Corbin and Linda Oestreich. "Types of Edit"

Slides from STC Summit 2011 presentation by Michelle Corbin and Linda Oestreich. "Types of Edit"

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  • 1. Types of EditsMichelle Corbin & Linda OestreichMay 2011
  • 2. Agenda Levels and Types Determining a of Edits Type of Edit to CompleteTypes of Edits - STC Technical Communication Summit 2
  • 3. Levels and Types of EditsTypes of Edits - STC Technical Communication Summit 3
  • 4. Defining what we do: “...imposing upon it a sense of organization and rationality...” (Van Buren and Buehler) Types of edit (9 types)  Categories of editorial functions  Coordination, policy, integrity, screening, copy clarification, format, mechanical style, language, and substantive Levels of edit (5 levels)  Number of specific editorial functions (types of edits)  Level 5 contains least number of editorial functions (types of edits); Level 1 contains most number (all) Types of Edits - STC Technical Communication Summit 4
  • 5. “Classic” levels of edit from Van Buren & Buehler Nine types classified into five levels Level of Edit Type of Edit Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 Coordination X X X X X Policy X X X X X Integrity X X X X Screening X X X X Copy Clarification X X X Format X X X Mechanical X X Language X X Substantive X Types of Edits - STC Technical Communication Summit 5
  • 6. An “informal” approach: hierarchy of tasks (Tarutz) Defined a hierarchy, based on task difficulty, time on task, and skill level involved Typical uses: establish common language, sizing & estimating, training new editors, scheduling Types of Edits - STC Technical Communication Summit 6
  • 7. “Informal” levels from Tarutz Turning pages – superficial look at text Skimming – obvious spelling, grammar, punctuation Skimming and comparing – internal consistency, cross- references Reading – writing style, such as wording, usage Analyzing – organizational flaws, missing info, redundancies, technical inconsistencies Testing and using – technical errors, usability problems Types of Edits - STC Technical Communication Summit 7
  • 8. Content-focus instead of rules-focus (Nadziejka) Non-sequential, independent list of 3 levels; all deal with “traditional editorial concerns of language, grammar, format, and style, but also with the technical content” (p. 9) Lowest level of edit must include focus on content and purpose, not just on grammar and style (or less); limited time should not mean a limit our focus on the content Trade-off: Some typos or grammatical errors will exist within a document (p. 7) Types of Edits - STC Technical Communication Summit 8
  • 9. Content-focus levels of edit (Nadziejka) Rush Edit  Not enough time for a complete edit  Selection of editing tasks within the limited amount of time  “...identifying substantive problems or errors that would adversely affect the reader’s comprehension and the author’s reputation...”  3 types of tasks to be completed in order, and as time allows:  Technical content considerations  Policy considerations  Copyediting considerations Standard Edit  Plenty of time to do a complete edit  Complete editing of the document  Includes all of the editing tasks in a Rush Edit, but in the order of the editor’s choosing:  Technical content considerations  Style considerations  Language considerations  Integrity considerations  Policy considerations Revision Edit  More time intensive edit  Bringing several authors together  Document is not nearing completion, is not yet ready for a Standard Edit  Involves reorganization and major revisions to document Types of Edits - STC Technical Communication Summit 9
  • 10. Negotiation-based types of edits (Weber) Rules-based editing  Make a document correct, consistent, accurate, & complete, using company standards and guidelines; spelling, grammar, punctuation, capitalization, hyphenation, legal  Non-negotiable with the writer: the editor makes corrections, enforces the rules Analysis-based editing  Make a document functional and appropriate for readers, focusing on concepts, content, organization, form & style  Negotiatble with the writer: the editor suggests improvements, identifies possible issues Types of Edits - STC Technical Communication Summit 10
  • 11. Mapping types of edits to types of testing: Raising awareness of technical editing as quality assurance (Corbin et al, 2002, p. 290)Type of Validation Testing Type of Technical EditingSystem testing Comprehensive EditingIntegration testing Comprehensive editing can include these types of quality assurance activities:Unit testing  Ensuring technical accuracy  Understanding and working toward the big picture  Reducing the amount of information  Re-using information  Customizing information for different software solutions  Enabling continuous improvementUsability testing Usability Editing Usability editing can include these types of quality assurance activities:  Ensuring the information can be easily retrieved  Making the information accessible to all users  Understanding the users well enough to make appropriate decisions about style and contentFunction testing Copy EditingUnit testing Copy editing can include these types of quality assurance activities:  Ensuring the information can be easily translated  Standardizing the information written by multiple writers  Verifying each information deliverable Types of Edits - STC Technical Communication Summit 11
  • 12. Textbook point of view: Defining editorial functions and responsibilities (Rude) Two primary functions:  Preparing documents for publication  Text editing Two types of text editing:  Comprehensive editing  Copy editing Preparing documents for publication includes document design & production type editing Primary purpose: Sizing, estimating, scheduling work; “contract for editorial services” Types of Edits - STC Technical Communication Summit 12
  • 13. Everyone does it: Simplifying or focusing the levels (types) of edit (Baker) Developed “editing model” based on own experiences Reduce complexity; simplify and clarify Defined three “levels” (types) of editing:  Knowledge editing (accuracy, completeness, logic)  Language editing (grammar, punctuation)  Layout editing (white space, formatting) Types of Edits - STC Technical Communication Summit 13
  • 14. STC Technical Editing SIG watercooler chat on the value of levels of edit Definition: “list of editing tasks, organized by levels...that spells out what as an editor you will do” Common uses:  Obtaining agreement of what will be done  Prioritizing work Discussed the value of not doing the level 1 edit (focusing more on grammar) and instead doing a higher level edit (focusing more on technical content) Types of Edits - STC Technical Communication Summit 14
  • 15. Evolution or revolution? Complexity is an artifact of the environment in which one works  Larger corporations or teams might choose to define more types of edits and adopt the levels as well  Smaller companies or teams might choose to define fewer types of edits and ignore the levels People used “levels” to mean “types”; much confusion over how “levels” different from “types”; some moved towards “model” Define each type with specific sets of editing tasks to be completed; many editors “nest” the types of edits (for example, a copy edit includes a legal edit) Types of edits are most frequently used as job description, project management tool, and training tool Types of Edits - STC Technical Communication Summit 15
  • 16. Determining a Type of Edit to CompleteTypes of Edits - STC Technical Communication Summit 16
  • 17. Defining your types of edits Must have a clear definition of the standard types of edits you will complete For this discussion, let’s consider this more common set:  Legal edit – notices, trademarks, copyrights, licenses  Copy edit – legal edit + rule-based errors in style guide, especially for grammar, style, punctuation, and formatting  Comprehensive edit – copy edit + more possibly subjective-based errors, especially for org, completeness, logic, and accuracy Types of Edits - STC Technical Communication Summit 17
  • 18. Characteristics that affect your choice Importance of project or release to the business Importance of project or release to the customer Importance of the information Type of information Amount of new and changed information Quality of existing information Experience of the writer Availability of resources (editor, writer, SMEs) Availability of time Globalization and translation of the information Types of Edits - STC Technical Communication Summit 18
  • 19. Developing a “triage” system (Tarutz) Triage = Deciding on the desired quality of the book, and then how much effort is required to attain that level of quality Evaluate a project by rating on a scale of 1 (low) to 3 (high) the following variables:  Importance of the project  Rapport with the writer  Difficulty of the project Add the total points, books with the highest points need more comprehensive editing Types of Edits - STC Technical Communication Summit 19
  • 20. Developing a “decision tree” based on the characteristics Time and resources are gating factor Choose most comprehensive type of all characteristics in decision tree Document decisions in editing plan, which should be part of a doc plan Characteristic of the information Choose this type of editing Information is critical to customer Comprehensive edit Information is important to customer Copy edit Information is mostly guidance Comprehensive edit Information is mostly conceptual Comprehensive edit Information is mostly reference Copy edit Information contains known issues Comprehensive edit Information is accurate/complete Legal edit Writer of information is experienced Copy edit Writer of information is new Comprehensive edit Schedule allows ample time Comprehensive edit Schedule allows minimal time Legal edit Types of Edits - STC Technical Communication Summit 20
  • 21. Exercise: Define the types of edits Company XYZ is a large telecommunications company Within the software division, there is a team of 10 technical writers and 1 technical editor The technical editor supports those writers & other SMEs who produce information The company follows the Read Me First! style guide, published by Sun Technical Publications Your task: Using the information on slide 20, set up the types and levels of edits that this team requires. Types of Edits - STC Technical Communication Summit 21
  • 22. SummaryTypes of Edits - STC Technical Communication Summit 22
  • 23. And in conclusion Both levels and types of edits exist, and you must choose how complex your definition will be Devise a system for how you will determine what the most appropriate edit to complete Ultimately, before you pick up the red pen: Stop. Review. Plan. Then, you can edit. Types of Edits - STC Technical Communication Summit 23
  • 24. References Baker, Justin. (2008). “Clarity for Editing.” Direction: The Newsletter for the STC Policies & Procedures Special Interest Group, 2nd/3rd Quarters, 2-3. Corbin, M., Moell, P., & Boyd, M. (2002). “Technical Editing As Quality Assurance: Adding Value to Content.” Technical Communication, 49 (3): 286-300. Nadziejka, D. (1995). “Needed: A Revision of the Lowest Level of Editing.” Technical Communication, 42 (3): 278-283. Nadziejka, D. (1999). Council of Biology Editors Guidelines, Number 4: Levels of Technical Editing. ISBN 0-914349-5-0. Reston, VA: Council of Biology Editors. Rude, C. D. (2006). Technical Editing (4th ed.). New York: Pearson Longman. [Chapters 1 & 24] STC Technical Editing SIG. (2010). “The Value of Levels of Edit.” Corrigo, 11 (1). Available from: http://www.stc-techedit.org/tiki- index.php?page=The+Value+of+Levels+of+Edit Tarutz, J. (1992). Technical Editing: The Practical Guide for Editors and Writers. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company. Van Buren, R. & Buehler, M.F. (1980). The Levels of Edit (2nd ed.). Arlington, VA: Society for Technical Publication. Weber, J. H. (2002). Who needs a technical editor? Technical Editors’ Eyrie. Available from: http://www.jeanweber.com/newsite/?page_id=19. Weber, J. H. (2002). Classifying editorial tasks. Technical Editors’ Eyrie. Available from: http://www.jeanweber.com/newsite/?page_id=27. Types of Edits - STC Technical Communication Summit 24
  • 25. Thank you! Thank you!  Michelle Corbin (Michelle.L.Corbin@gmail.com)  Linda Oestreich (lloriter@cox.net)Types of Edits - STC Technical Communication Summit 25