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Editing Mastery: How to Edit Writing to Perfection

via LinkedIn Learning


Discover how to become an outstanding editor. Learn practical techniques that can help you transform almost any piece of nonfiction writing into magnificent, sparkling prose.

Most editors can capably fix the spelling, grammar, punctuation, and typos in a piece of writing. It takes a different skill set to turn dry, disorganized prose into writing that is beautifully organized and bursting with life and energy. In this course, instructor Shani Raja acquaints you with a powerful technique—deep editing—that can help you transform nearly any piece of nonfiction writing into magnificent, sparkling prose. The deep editing technique forces you to consider every aspect of a document, ensuring that quality gets embedded into each pore of the writing. Discover how to fine-tune the content, structure, style, and presentation of a document so that the final product shines.


1. The Magic of Deep Editing
  • What is deep editing?
  • The deep editing framework
  • How is this going to work?
2. The Content Edit
  • What is the territory of the piece?
  • Sample article
  • What is its ultimate purpose?
  • What are the individual points?
  • Demonstration: Breaking up the points
  • Does every point make sense?
  • Demonstration: Making sense of each point
  • Is every point relevant?
  • Demonstration: Deleting irrelevant points
  • Is every point worthwhile?
  • Demonstration: Eliminating rambling
  • Is every point unique?
  • Demonstration: Getting rid of repetition
  • Are all the "facts" correct?
  • Demonstration: Verifying the "facts"
  • Is anything missing?
  • Demonstration: Adding in missing information
3. The Structure Edit
  • What is the "angle"?
  • Demonstration: Choosing your angle
  • What are the key sections?
  • Demonstration: Creating categories
  • What is the narrative structure?
  • Demonstration: Creating a narrative
  • Are the points ordered elegantly?
  • Demonstration: Ordering points within sections
4. The Style Edit
  • Is there narrative definition?
  • Demonstration: Creating narrative "turns"
  • Does it read well?
  • Demonstration: Making the piece read well
  • Is there any clutter?
  • Demonstration: Clearing up the clutter
  • Are the paragraphs in good shape?
  • Demonstration: Arranging paragraphs
  • Could it start better?
  • Demonstration: Creating a jazzy intro
  • Could it end better?
  • Demonstration: Creating a snazzy ending
  • Can we make it more evocative?
  • Demonstration: Adding color to the narrative
  • Is every person and entity correctly introduced?
  • Demonstration: Tidy references
5. The Presentation Edit
  • Is the spelling, grammar, punctuation respectable?
  • Demonstration: Taking care of the basics
  • Do the headlines and text square up?
  • Demonstration: Title matching
  • Is everything consistent?
  • Demonstration: Fixing inconsistencies
  • Read out loud
  • Demonstration: Addressing trip-ups
  • Congratulations, you're an elite editor!
  • Some final exercises

Taught by

Shani Raja

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