Re: Editorial and technical reviews

Subject: Re: Editorial and technical reviews
From: Patrick Dean <pdean -at- TXBASE -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 29 Jan 1997 15:23:10 -0500

Sue wrote:
>OK, the problem. I really need to have the programmers do an initial
>review of the online help -- a *technical* review first. I feel it is
>way too early to be concentrating on editorial review

Hi Sue,

I'd say that trying to do an editorial review at this stage would be
like putting your pants on before your underwear. Sure you'll have all
your clothes on but your not wearing them the way they were intended.
I'm assuming that an editorial review at your company involves copy
editing and proof reading: two editing areas that you really shouldn't
approach until you have some solid (and somewhat permanent) written

When it comes to creating a doc I make sure we first go through some
sort of approval process for the presented outline. If the writer
doesn't have an outline he/she doesn't start writing (I learned my
lesson the hard way).
Once the writing begins, I try my best to follow this editing process:

Phase 1
Substantive edit - involves reviewing the doc at a high level to
identify problems with the overall approach, organization, level of
info, and writing style. We usually do this after the first draft.

Phase 2
Technical edit - involves identifying problems with technical accuracy
and does not involve copy editing.

Phase 3
Copy edit - requires locating problems with sentence structure, sentence
style, grammar, and spelling. At this phase you should have solved all
organization, design, and functional issues.

Phase 4
Proof read - involves identifying spelling or typing errors as well as
well as problems with the overall visual appearance such as awkward
paragraph breaks, headings separated from paragraphs, and misplaced
graphics. We do the proof read just before printing.


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