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The Technical Editor: The Expected Role & the Editor-Writer Relationship
Transcript of The Technical Editor: The Expected Role & the Editor-Writer Relationship
Be consistently trustworthy and sincere
Pick your battles
Use good manners
Establish open, honest communication habits with your author Technical Editing The Work of a Middle Man Understand the Author's Audience Goal B Technical Editor Author Audience Goal C Understand the Author Manage Your Author's Editing Expectations Know the "customer is always right"
Be good at your job (author's expect quality work)
Preserve the document as best you can
Have intelligent reasons for any of your changes
Understand that the original writing is the author's--not the editor's
Be positive and professional Anticipate the Temperamental Nature of Editing Familiarize Research the industry
Know the type of writing you're editing
Conduct an audience analysis
Recognize that while you may be working directly with an author, that work is intended for an audience--not you or the author Recognize Foster a positive relationship with your author that will lead to good work
Focus on the end results of your editing--a happy editor-writer relationship likely means a happy audience
In the worst case scenario where you and your author do not have a positive relationship, do all you can to make sure the work is the best version for the audience--keep them in mind at all times Implement Prepare Research the author’s attitude towards editing
Try to understand author as a writer
Know the industry the author works in
Know type of writing/work
Understand that many writers are averse to editors
Recognize that writing is personal and subjective
Realize that different authors may need different editing approaches Understand Implement Your Skills Effectively Goal A Understand Your Role To be able to technically edit
To understand grammar and style
To negotiate and collaborate
To use effective interpersonal skills
To appreciate teamwork
To acknowledge the authors as content experts
To foster a positive relationship/partnership with the author
To understand and edit for the author’s audience
To recognize their role, "place," and job responsibilities Know Your Author's Audience Before Editing Know Your Behavior has Consequences Use Your Skills for the Good of the Audience Understand the author's intentions so that you can edit well for their audience
Edit for the audience--not according to your (or even the author's) personal preferences Why Worry About Balance? Technical editing is an important specialization within the field of technical communication. Understanding the balance between author, editor, and audience ensures successful editors. This topic is relevant and significant to the field because an understanding of these concepts produces well-rounded, effective communicators—which are what technical communicators, at the end of the day, no matter their specialization, should strive to be. The concept of understanding the role of a technical editor and the editor-writer relationship is the building block of good editing--a skill that all professional technical communicators should strive to have a basic knowledge of. It doesn't matter if you're a scholar or a practitioner, editing is a component of technical communication that cannot be avoided. Sources Buehler, Mary Fran. “Situational Editing: A Rhetorical Approach for the Technical Editor.” Technical Communication 50.4 (2003): 458-64. ProQuest. Web. 20 Nov. 2012. <http://libproxy.library.unt.edu:7125/docview/220988719>.
Eaton, Angela, Pamela E. Brewer, Tiffany C. Portewig, and Cynthia R. Davidson. “Examining Editing in the Workplace from the Author’s Point of View.” Technical Communication 55.2 (2008): 111+. Web. 20 Nov. 2012.
Gerich, Carol. “How Technical Editors Enrich the Revision Process.” Technical Communication 41.1 (1994). ProQuest. Web. 20 Nov. 2012. <http://libproxy.library.unt.edu:7125/docview/220980361>.
Mackiewicz, Jo, and Kathryn Riley. “The Technical Editor as Diplomat: Linguistic Strategies for Balancing Clarity and Politeness.” Technical Communication 50.1 (2003): 83-94. Web. 20 Nov. 2012.
Murphy, Avon J. New Perspectives on Technical Editing. Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing Company, Inc., 2010. 99-101. Print.
Wieringa, Douglas. “Editors, Authors, and Audiences.” Technical Communication 42.1 (1995): 101- 03. IngentaConnect. Web. 20 Nov. 2012. To learn more about the role of a technical editor and the editor-writer relationship, visit http://parisal5185.wordpress.com/2012/12/08/the-technical-editor-the-expected-role-the-editor-writer-relationship/