WRITING:  EDITING FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATIONS                        July 14, 2017


Editing goes hand in hand with writing and speaking. It is NOT only about using the text that you see–recommending corrections, improvements, rephrasings, completions, clarifications, better word choices, etc. It’s also about reading between the lines for what may be there that should not be and for what is not there that should be.



As a part of that, reading the text aloud can reveal subtle or not-so-subtle tones and nuances that may have sneaked their way into your writing and need to be fixed. A tone may need to be lessened, for example, from bossy or nasty to one of requesting or encouraging. Specifics may help, too. Example:

From:  I need that letter on my desk by 3 p.m.

To:  Please give your proposed letter to me by 2:30 so that I can review it and have a final copy ready for our department’s 4 p.m. meeting. That way, the boss will be happy with both of us.


Or, a tone may need to be strengthened from wimpy to nicely firm.  Example:

From: If it isn’t too much trouble, do you think you might be able to move your car from the end of the driveway pretty soon?

To:  Would you please move your car in fifteen minutes? It’s blocking the rest of us in the driveway, and I have to be at the doctor’s office in an hour. Thank you.


Negative connotations, outright insults, and any other text that detracts should be stricken from any generic writing or discussion.



Have you considered all options, and have you honestly tried to do so objectively? Don’t be too hasty. The old saying, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” can be helpful in practice. When you need readers or listeners to see your side of a problem and to do their best for you, you really should cover your assets and prove why they should help you. Also, you should end your letter or conversation with a pleasantly direct request that asks for exactly what you need and, if applicable, requests or suggests that the issue be resolved by a certain date or time. Show what’s in it for them and for you, and keep your writing thorough but brief. Along the way, correct punctuation can clarify intent and meaning.

Keep doing your best in writing/editing and speaking, always with your readers or listeners in mind.



Many lessons and bits of advice in this writing/grammar series have been taken from Writestyle’s online campus. Want us to address a particular topic? Just comment, and we’ll get back to you.

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Till next time, have a good one!

Vickie L. Weaver

Vickie L. Weaver

Owner at Writestyle
Writing has been an important talent and part of my life since I was a child.Professionally, after decades of employment for others, I founded Writestyle in 1996 to provide writing, editing, proofreading, training, and more to clients worldwide (www.writestyle.com).Clients often call my work “magic.”I have written and/or edited for “Coexistence Magazine” (national), for “Ohio Magazine,” and for various newspapers.In addition, I have edited or contributed to the writing of numerous books.Personally, I have written in various genres.I have always composed poetry; as such, I have won awards and publication for some of my poems, and I am compiling a book of my poetry.One of my children’s books is set for publication.With my second husband, family and friends in Ohio, I enjoy music and dance, aid charitable causes, and strive for beauty and harmony in life.
Vickie L. Weaver

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