Re: Editing, Smediting

Subject: Re: Editing, Smediting
From: "Parks, Beverly" <ParksB -at- EMH1 -dot- HQISEC -dot- ARMY -dot- MIL>
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 1997 07:56:43 -0700

Lisa wrote:
>I am having an awful experience coming face to face with the fact that I am
>editing disabled. Design, Format, Conception - I'm your writer! Have me
>read what I wrote for missed words, inconsistencies, and the grammatical
>errors - No way.
>I am pretty much just spiraling into the abyss with self doubt and no
>answers. Please shed some light on what you do to ensure editing quality.
> Tell me your answers to editing. How do you do it? Thanks.
Hi, Lisa.

I'm sure you'll get a lot of better suggestions from the seasoned tech
writers on this list--I am but a mere computer weenie with occasional
tech writing duties. I have written a 120-page software users guide from
scratch as well as upgraded and maintained other users guides. I have
found my best defense against missed words and inconsistencies is to
perform my own usability test on the documents I write. Sit down with
the document and the product and start reading and doing. Put yourself
in the position of a new user who knows NOTHING about the product and
really depend on that documentation. If you can maintain that
perspective throughout the test phase, the missing words and
inconsistencies will jump out at you.

It also helps if you can get someone else to read it for you or even go
through the testing process on their own.

>Bev Parks
>parksb -at- emh1 -dot- hqisec -dot- army -dot- mil

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