6: Popular Press Editing Guidelines
For class editorial session

syllabus | assignments

Purpose: Editing guidelines for in-class peer review.

You should have two articles, each 2-3 pages, double spaced. If you do not, tell Dr. Logan.

You will have at least 20 minutes with each article. Note the time. Allocate about 8 minutes each for two readings of the article, and 4 minutes to write a brief note to the author, to be returned to the author along with the edited copy.

subject / verb agreementnoun clustertense (present/past, etc.)
Nom. — nominalizationPerson (1st, 2nd / I, you, etc.)passive voice
Numericals (eight, not 8 (write out if <10)latinizations (use vs. utilize)split infinitives ("to boldly go...")
dangling modifiersproper word use (affect / effect; their / they're)
illiteracies (its / it's; your's)
jargon / ephemism (pass on / die)
branch lengthconditions between
subject & verb
clear antecedant for pronouns ("If it isn't..." (what does "it" refer to in the previous sentence?)
absurditiesspellingpunctuation (commas!)

Note: Your review will not be read by Dr. Logan until after he has read and assigned a grade for the assignment. That is, your review should help your classmate write a better final draft, but it will have zero direct impact on the grade.

Be kind, but be firm (Tough love!). As my friend Dr. Jackson advises, "It takes a cold heart and a sharp knife to make a good hedge."