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What Does “Heading A” Mean? Some Key Editing Terms Explained

Editing / Usage / Style / Editor/writer / Publishing

Editorial work entails a variety of different jobs. These include substantive editing, line editing, and proofreading. Because the process of editorial work occurs largely through written exchanges — through emails and through editorial comments left in the manuscript’s margin, for example — it’s critical that writers and editors share a common glossary of editorial terms.   Editorial work, like work in most industries, employs an ever-expanding list of technical...

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Ryerson’s Publishing Program: Insights and Inspirations from Two of TEC’s Editors

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style / Editor/writer

Ryerson University’s Publishing Program is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year!    Founded in 1990, the Certificate in Publishing is the largest and most successful professional training program for the publishing industry in Canada. Our graduates thrive in book publishing and related industries, and in corporate, non-profit, and government communications. (Ryerson Publishing)   We wanted to celebrate this milestone by sharing some insights and inspirations from two of the program’s current students...

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Active vs. Passive Voice: Understanding How and Why They Work

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style / Writing

Although there are some who would advocate for a world free of passive-voice constructions, an all-out ban on this wrongfully maligned verbal form would be going too far. It is true that the active voice generally provides clarity that the passive voice tends to lack, but when used effectively, the passive voice allows for an element of mystery or gravity that can be difficult to achieve in straightforward active-voice...

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Find Your Forte with Editorial Niches

Editing / Style / Book Reviews

niche /niːʃ/  noun 1.   a shallow recess, esp. in a wall to contain a statue etc. 2.   a comfortable or suitable position in life or employment. 3.   a specialized but profitable corner of the market: [also attributive]: niche marketing. 4.   (Ecology) a position or role taken by a kind of organism within its community.   To be honest, I had no idea what to expect when Beth first slid this slim volume across...

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Ask the TEC Editors: What Is the Best Editing Advice You’ve Received?

Editing / Style / Editor/writer / Language & Editing

Spring is here, and as the trees start to bud, and the snowdrops and crocuses start to poke their green tips out of the dirt, it’s hard not to think about growth, in all senses of the word. At TEC, this got us thinking – as we’ve grown as editors, picking up knowledge and tips along the way, what is the most important piece of advice we’ve kept in...

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Resources and Tips to Help Editors Stay Current

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style / Usage

Like any profession, editorial work involves keeping up with how professional standards and tools of the trade change over time. Unlike aviation standards, though, changes to editorial standards aren’t always big news, so it’s generally up to individual editors to try to keep on top of how and when the editorial goalposts have shifted. One of the most effective ways for writers and editors to make sure that...

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What Does “Heading A” Mean? Some Key Editing Terms Explained

Editing / Style / Editor/writer / Publishing / Proofreading

Editorial work entails a variety of different jobs. These include substantive editing, line editing, and proofreading. Because the process of editorial work occurs largely through written exchanges — through emails and through editorial comments left in the manuscript’s margin, for example — it’s critical that writers and editors share a common glossary of editorial terms.   Editorial work, like work in most industries, employs an ever-expanding list of technical...

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6 Methods of Emphasizing Words and Ideas in Writing

Editing / Usage / Style / Writing / Writers Support Group

Emphatic writing allows writers the opportunity to drive home the importance of letters, words, phrases, sentences, and ideas. Aside from mechanical considerations, such as italicization and CAPITALIZATION, there are six common methods that writers can use to give specific sections a bit more oomph.     More Space   The first of these is probably the most obvious method for emphasizing an idea: giving a specific topic lots of space on the page...

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“Back to Basics” Editing Rules

Editing / Usage / Style / Editor/writer

In this week's blog, we decided to share some of the most basic editing rules that editors must remember to follow, regardless of what type of text they're working with.     Do No Harm Perhaps the most important rule in editing is this: do not introduce errors into the text you are working with! If a text requires a lot of markup and heavy editing, sometimes it can be easy to miss...

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Web Citations: Headache Extraordinaire?

Editing / Style / Editing New Media

Citing sources from the internet is something most academic writers do all the time; papers can be written without consulting a single sheet of paper. But citing web sources seems to be a continuing source of confusion, trouble, and headache.   Dynamic Development Part of the confusion comes from how citation styles have developed alongside the internet: no one knew exactly what place web sources would take in academic work, so...

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6 Faulty Writing Habits

Editing / Usage / Style / Writing / Writers Support Group

There’s never a bad time to refresh your writing skills, and now is as good a time as ever (especially if you’re finding yourself with some extra time on your hands)! Here are some common writing habits to unlearn or avoid if you want your writing to be as clear as possible for your readers.     “Sardine sentences”   Attempting to cram too many facts into one sentence results in what we call...

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Midterm Madness: A Primer on How to Format Your APA Academic Paper

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style / Editor/writer

November has rolled around again, which can only mean one thing (for students, anyway): midterms and papers are coming up and will be due before the winter break!   We’ve had a flurry of formatting projects at TEC in the last few weeks, and a few of them have involved formatting academic papers. Writing the paper is hard enough, but when it comes to proper formatting, depending on the assigned style...

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Editing Acronyms and Initialisms: Tips on Using Them Effectively

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style / Writing

As anyone who edits (or writes) non-fiction knows, few things are as frustratingly difficult to keep straight as acronyms and initialisms. Two weeks ago, TEC editor Ronnie Morris broke down the difference between, and history and uses of, acronyms and initialisms. For anyone who needs a refresher on what those are, read Ronnie’s blog post on acronyms and initialisms, and then check back in here for some tips...

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Editing Acronyms and Initialisms: The Almost Impossible Task of Keeping Them Consistent

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style / Usage

It has been considered a usual style to shorten words in order to save time or space for some time now. Some of us will remember acronyms and initialisms used by bands (XTC, AC/DC, KMFDM, R. E. M. , U2,  the KLF, and the Notorious B. I. G. ), by television shows (M. A. S. ...

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The Online World of Grammar and Usage: Reliable Online Editorial Resources

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style

Although you’re unlikely to find many writers or editors willing to give up the hard copies of their dictionaries or style and usage guides, working as a writer or editor in the 21st century has its perks: the list of reliable online editorial resources gets longer every year. Here’s a great listing to get you started.   Online Style Guides Online bastions of editorial integrity include well-known editorial authorities such as...

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Possessives: Some Basic Rules on Using “s” and an Apostrophe

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style

The most common mistakes with grammar often involve seemingly simple things. In English, possession is indicated using an apostrophe and, usually, an added “s. ” But maybe because spoken English doesn’t mark the difference between plurals and possessions, such as in “dogs” and “dog’s,” it is common even for experienced writers to make mistakes. This blog reviews some of the basic rules that can help you avoid these...

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To Friend or Unfriend? The Evolution of Nouns into Verbs

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style / Usage

In 2009, “unfriend” was the Oxford American Dictionary’s Word of the Year, leading to teeth-gnashing of grammar purists across the world. How could this be? How did “unfriend” become a word at all, when “friend,” until not so long ago, wasn’t even a verb, but merely someone with whom you enjoyed spending time?   The English language, like all languages, is constantly evolving. “Unfriend” may still seem strange to us,...

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Tidying-Up Your Academic Writing: The Magic of the Reverse Outline

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style / Editor/writer

January is the time of year when we begin hearing from students who need help with their dissertations, theses, and papers. To help them out, we're revisiting this blog from TEC's archives on how to craft a reverse outline! ***** Could your academic writing use a good de-cluttering?   While doing structural editing for a client—especially with graduate students’ theses or dissertations—I’ve often found myself using the same little trick when faced with...

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The Online World of Grammar and Usage: Reliable Online Editorial Resources

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style / Editor/writer

Although you’re unlikely to find many writers or editors willing to give up the hard copies of their dictionaries or style and usage guides, working as a writer or editor in the 21st century has its perks: the list of reliable online editorial resources gets longer every year. Here’s a great listing to get you started.   Online Style Guides Online bastions of editorial integrity include well-known editorial authorities such as...

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What’s the Matter with ibid.?

Editing / Style

The Latin word ibidem, better known these days by its short form ibid. , is one of the technical tools of academic writing and editing. Literally meaning "in the same place," it's used in footnotes and endnotes to mean that a note refers to the same source as the previous note. This little bit of Latin has long been a way of inducting a writer (in high school...

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3 Essentials for a Great Thesis or Dissertation

Editing / Style

As one of our Academic Editors here at TEC, I've recently been working on a lot of graduate theses and dissertations, helping students to shape what they've written into something they're proud to defend. Having just defended by own PhD dissertation earlier this year, I have a good idea of what graduate supervisors and committees are looking for in a finished dissertation (in the humanities and social sciences, at...

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5 Chicago-Style Citations for the Web-Savvy Editor

Editing / Style

As 2015 rolls around, our use of social media continues to grow. Now, more than ever before, authors (both academic and non-academic) are citing social media sources such as Twitter posts, blog comments, podcasts, and YouTube videos in their work.     The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) is particularly vague on how to format these modern kinds of citations as endnotes or footnotes. Luckily for you, we’ve done the...

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Punctuation Marks & Symbols: The Comma and the Hashtag

Editing / Style

I wanted to write about punctuation marks and symbols because I’m fascinated by their use. When used correctly — that is, according to style guides like Chicago or APA — they can turn an otherwise awkward or convoluted sentence into a concise, clean line that brings out meaning and strengthens tone (among other things). The Comma One of my favourite examples of how a tiny punctuation mark can bring...

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6 Simple Steps to Becoming a Confident Abbreviation User (CAU)

Editing / Style

From the Jersey Shore (anyone up for GTL?) to high government offices (the GOP signed an MOA with the DED!), abbreviations are handy little tools that save space and time. But they can trip up even experienced writers. When to use them? When not to use them? Capitals or lowercase?   More like ACK!ronym, am I right? Take a deep breath and follow these six simple rules for abbreviating,...

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