The value of edit summaries

After you complete an edit, do you take the time to review your edits as a whole and write an edit summary for the author? Or, is this (or some part of this) just part of your email that you communicate with the author?

To create a non-adversarial relationship with your author, you need to help your edits be considered more openly so that more of your suggested changes will be accepted and made. Editing is a critical process, and it is hard to have your writing criticized. As much as we editors might want our authors to believe that we are partners in producing the best possible information, the undercurrent of criticism will always be there. By taking the time to write 3 short sentences that summarize your edits, and trying to call out one positive element to the writing, you can build that partnership.

I was struck by An American Editor’s blog post about “trigger warnings,” and his musings about whether he should provide them to his authors. He doesn’t feel that we should need to provide them, but I think they can help build relationships and help more of our work be accepted and incorporated.

Happy editing everyone!

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2 Responses to The value of edit summaries

  1. Someone was paying attention when they taught TEF! 🙂


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