Summer Briefwriting Institute – Final Week

This is the fourth and final week of the 2013 Summer Briefwriting Institute.

Weeks One, Two, and Three are here, and the posts explaining each step follow:

Brief editing step one: make sure that the big picture is clear.

Brief editing step two: ensure that each section advances the argument.

Brief editing step three: attend to the structure of each section.

Brief editing step four: line editing.

This week, we post the final outcome of our editing practice, in two versions: the unformatted version (with line edits only) and the formatted version (with formatting tweaks as well).

Here are the sorts of things we fixed during the line editing:

And here are some things we did in the formatting phase:

  • Make sure no headers are left at the end of the page without any accompanying text.
  • Make your paragraph indent a half-inch or less.
  • Replace underlining with italics for emphasis (bold is okay very occasionally).
  • Use “smart quotes” so that your quotation marks and apostrophes are curly, not straight.
  • Fix up the caption block with simple table formatting rather than constructing it from typewriter characters.


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