Honing the editor in you
Editing refines writing by removing the unwanted and retaining the required information in an organized and convincing manner. The dearth of good editors in the industry is a bare fact compared to that big fat figure of writers. It would be interesting to know how many writers have the confidence to send documents to customers omitting an editor’s cleanup. Sure, just a few. So, how an editor produces an accurate copy?
While basic writing skills make you a raw writer, focus on clear and error-free content makes you a confident editor. In technical writing, content development is a core area. It demands a step-by-step logical development through simple and concise sentences. Therefore, you should practice how to write in technical writing language adhering to the style guide followed by your organization.
Punctuations can twist the intent of your sentence if not in proper use. Commas, semicolons, colons, hyphens, quotation marks, em dash, en dash, etc., are widely used punctuations in TW. Be judgmental while putting each of these as such errors are mostly unnoticed and affects the integrity of the content at large.
Most of the authoring tools suggest corrections to the wrong sentences you create while at work. Nevertheless, Grammar Checkers can’t be perfect. Your up-to-date grammar knowledge will be your savior in ambiguous situations alongside reliable books and websites. Imperfect grammar skills turn you an unreliable writer in this profession. So, if you are not confident enough about your grammar skills, practice daily.
Typos are unintentional but create a worst impact in the reader. If your authoring tool doesn’t support a good spell checker (for instance, FrameMaker) copy-paste the content into MS Word and do it. It’s worth a routine.
Standardization combines entire usage, style, grammar, and graphics rules into a single process to bring uniformity to the documents released at an organization. It is an internal process followed by each company with its preferred word list, capitalization and punctuations rules, abbreviations, web terminologies, and so on. The style of documentation can also be dependent on the industry standards set by MSTP, The Chicago Manual of Style, etc. It is vital to recheck and apply all required styles before you produce the final copy.