Critical thinking and editing comments

In the Technical Editing Fundamentals course that I teach with Linda Oestreich, we provide a set of guidelines for how to make effective editing comments. We identify 4 types of comments: imperatives, suggestions, opinions, and queries.

So, when I saw this design-focused article on “3 Kinds of Feedback,” I was more than intrigued. It is nice to see my information architecture role overlapping with my technical editor role. The 3 kinds of feedback defined were: reaction, direction (our imperatives or suggestions), and critique. They propose that to give proper critique, you must use critical thinking, which the author defines as “the process of taking a statement and determining if it is true or false.” Then, in further defining critique: “Critique is a form of analysis that uses critical thinking to determine whether a creation is expected to achieve its desired outcomes.”

Thus, the conclusion I drew from this related article is: Technical editors must use critical thinking in making all of their editing comments, so that we help our writers create high quality content.

Happy editing everyone.

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