Moss Drake, Dentists Management Corp.(DMC)
In business, people are often asked to become informal editors for specifications, vision documents, user documentation, and technical articles. They are asked to review a document, but are not often given guidelines on how to go about the process.
Written documents are supposed to be about communication, but communication is a fuzzy concept. There are many things to consider: whether the document is complete, whether the correct information has been communicated, and even small details, such as whether the title agrees with the content, may be questioned. Some authors have wonderful ideas, but run into problems sizing and structuring their efforts such as trying to fit a book into an article. How can an inexperienced editor determine when a document is written in a way that makes the most sense? It would be an improvement if there were some way to quantify the review process.
This paper explains a three-step editing process that checks the content and structure of the paper for comprehension, accuracy and completeness, and it also provides tips on style and copy editing. The process can be used for editing software specifications, user documentation, technical articles or blog entries. Benefits include showing the author whether the correct information was communicated to the audience, being able to tell whether the information is balanced and complete, and whether the scope of the content is appropriate to the document.