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Editing Articles

edited February 2012 in - Writing Problems
This may seem a very silly question, but how do you edit articles?

A list of things to check would be great! I have a list for fiction, but there seems to be very little on doing it for articles. Do they expect you to get it right first time?


  • I imagine much of the editing would be the same - obviously spelling, grammar etc will be and you'll need to write clearly and in the house style. You'll also need to be very sure facts are corrects, quotes correctly attributed etc.

    [quote=samperkins]Do they expect you to get it right first time? [/quote] Depends who you mean by 'they'. If it's an editor, then yes they'll expect everything to be correct although they might still suggest some changes to fit page layout etc. My OH writes factual articles and even when everything is exactly as they've requested they sometimes want the articles longer or shorter so it fits in with pictures, adverts etc.
  • Check that names of people are spelled correctly.
    If there are any details of places, opening times (as in an article about a tourist attraction for example) that details are up to date and correct.
  • Here's how it works for me:

    I sudmit a query about the subject. I may get asked to write a full synopis (but often it's discussed over the phone).

    I'm given the word count and any emphasis the editor wants me to incorporate. Finally I'm given the deadline.

    When I submit the article I make sure I have followed the brief.

    Any dates, any names etc are always double-checked.

    If the pre-commission discussion is over the phone I always open a word document and type my notes there and then.

    I have to be prepared to back up the facts - so double-checking anything contentious is a good idea. I'd like to think my spelling, punctuation and grammar was pretty good. I don't think I'd get much work if it contained too many errors that the editor needed to weed out.

    Reviews are different - but suffice to say I (at least) triple check the cast names before emailing it off.
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