Proofreading, Editing & Revising Customized & Workplace Training AAI/Portland Community College Facilitated by George Knox.
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Proofreading, Editing & Revising Customized & Workplace Training AAI/Portland Community College Facilitated by George Knox
Proofreading Purpose: Locate and mark errors and needed changes in a document. Approach w/ “fresh eyes” Know why you are proofreading Proof for the audience Mark problems; don’t fix them Look for needed changes only Read both silently and aloud Proofread in “chunks” Proof multiple times
Proofreading for Revision Purpose: Check content and order for clarification or restatement Read for overview Determine purpose of the document Find the main point or thesis Find the evidence or details Check paragraph order and “weight” Proof paragraphs for relevance and flow Repeat as necessary
Proofreading for Editing Purpose: Find sentence-level problems and mechanical errors Proofread at least twice Check your problem areas first Find topic sentences before supports Ensure 1 topic sentence per paragraph Check spelling separate from grammar Use but don’t trust writing assistants
Proofreading Tips Accept that most drafts are not perfect Plan/schedule for proofreading Proof electronically AND hard copy Proofread multiple times Read your document aloud Have someone else proofread Practice proofreading AND …
Proofreading Tips (Cont.) Organize your proofreading: –Proof in sections. Complete a section before moving on. –Proof for revision first. Make revisions. Then proof for editing. –Proof general to specific (Paragraph – Sentence – Word – Punctuation) –Read backwards (especially for editing)
Proofreading for Grammar (Sentence Level) When proofing and editing, focus on meaning and clarity Know your grammatical weaknesses, and check those first Read a sentence aloud to confirm “verbal grammar” Look for shifts in voice, person and tense Identify subject, predicate, clauses and phrases within a sentence Quickly cover the basics: –Complete sentences (and ideas) –Agreement between elements –Clear and appropriate modifying phrases –Correct punctuation Use the writing assistants to find likely errors (but check again for yourself) Keep a good grammar guide handy
Revising Strategies Focus –Clarify introduction of main “thesis” –Check for competing ideas –Delete unnecessary text Content –Emphasize main ideas –Add facts, details, examples, definitions –Rethink central argument/insight Point of View –Maintain consistency –Change POV?
Revising Strategies (Cont.) Organization –Add/sharpen topic sentences –Move blocks of text –Re-paragraph Audience Appeal –Use appropriate tone/language –Let the readers know why they are reading –Motivate the readers to read on The “Rule of Ones”
Editing Strategies: Movement Check paragraphs –Topic sentence followed by support sentences –Transitional sentences/phrases Arrange paragraphs appropriately –Time (chronological, narrative, process) –Space (descriptive, setting) –Dramatic (build to climax, back load) –Logic (argument, essay) Link ideas
Paragraph Structure Topic sentence with support sentences (details and examples) Usually topic sentence comes first Start a paragraph when you introduce a new topic sentence Front load vs. back load Tip: When proofing, mark all topic sentences to check paragraphing
Editing Strategies: Linking Ideas Use key words –Repetition –Variety Maintain parallel structures –Similar info presented in similar ways –“Visual” balance Check for consistent style –Between paragraphs/chapters/sections –Subject identity –Perspective
Editing Strategies: Transitions Use “roadmap” sentences/paragraphs Choose appropriate phrases –Addition (and, also, further, in addition to, moreover, next, too) –Compare (also, in the same manner, in this way, like, likewise, similarly) –Contrast (although, but, even though, however, in contrast, nevertheless, still) –Summary (In conclusion, in other words, in short, therefore, to sum up) –Relation [time, order, place] (after, as, during, finally, later, when, first, second, next, last, above, beyond, farther on, near, opposite) –Logic (as a result, consequently, if, since, so, therefore, thus)
Specific Problems to Consider Diction Paragraph Structure Document Design Style Liability
Also Think About … Utilizing a peer review Testing documents on sample audiences Requesting feedback from target audience(s) Developing measurements of effectiveness Rotating assignments to assess strengths and weaknesses of writing staff Group writing for projects
Business Activity #5 Proofread a short letter to a customer. Use the worksheet on p. 45 of the work book.
Appropriate and Effective Electronic Communication Customized & Workplace Training AAI/Portland Community College Facilitated by George Knox
Some E-Statistics … There are 684 million e-mail users and 1.2 billion e-mail boxes worldwide 76.8 billion messages are sent each day 57% of all e-mail traffic is spam 48% of corporate e-mail traffic is spam and will grow to 64% in 2008 Source: The Radicati Group, May 2005
Electronic Communications: Overview Importance of proper e-mail and Internet use Etiquette: Expectations, problems and solutions Strategies for success Discussion?
Why is proper e-communication important? Legal Restrictions and Implications Company Policy Professionalism Effective Communication Functionality
Legal Restrictions and Implications HIPAA The CAN-SPAM Act “Annoying E-mail” – Cyberstalking/VAWA Fraud (Phishing, Pharming and Crimeware) Harassment Non-disclosure Ownership Issues
Liability Issues: Risks “Technical” Liability –Negligence –Breach of Warranty –“Strict Liability in Tort(e)” Marketing Liability –“Uniform Commercial Code” –Expressed Warranty of Description Other Areas of Liability –Privacy –Financial –Employment
Liability Issues: Protections Accuracy –Check for clear interpretations and findings –Do not suppress knowledge or data –Do not exaggerate claims or data Ownership –Confirm copyright, trademarks, etc.
Liability Issues: Avoiding Problems Be accurate (factual, precise) Know your audience to minimize risk –Needs and expectations –Abilities (“reasonable person”) Document your work –Sources/Citations –Paper trail –Data records –Copies of correspondence Get approval of your work –“Sign off” –Feedback from peers and target audience Use waivers/consent forms
Some things to remember … Use of the computer network is limited by company policy –Business use only –Some personal use usually permitted –Access may be limited or terminated –Users may be monitored and recorded
Some things to remember … Content (e-mails and attachments) owned by company –Content usually stored or backed up –Content may be accessed by officials for business use including disciplinary action/termination
Professionalism/Effectiveness Poorly written and/or poorly managed e- communication reflects on you and your company’s reputation. It also may hamper your audience’s understanding of your message. Well executed e-communication works better to get your message across.
Functionality Inappropriate or flawed use of e-mail affects delivery and flow of e-mail, the need for additional resources and time to handle problems, and the willingness of others to open and read e-mail.
Common E-mail Mistakes Address errors Long messages or attachments Misleading or vague subject lines Inappropriate content Lack of discretion in responses Inappropriate copying and forwarding Source: John Edwards, “The Six Most Common Mistakes in Sending E-mail”, Bottom Line Business, October 1997.
E-mail Etiquette Problem Areas Problems can occur in various ways for e-mail senders Header Info Content Sending, Replying, Forwarding
Header Info – To: & From: Problems to avoid: Inaccurate recipient or sender e-mail addresses (It won’t get there) A long list of multiple recipients “Showing” list of recipients when inappropriate (especially outside e-mail)
Header Info – To: & From: Good e-mail practices: Proof all e-mail addresses Add commonly used addresses to contact list/address book Use CC: and BCC: when appropriate Use BCC: or mail merge for mass mailings Consider a listserv for frequent/periodic e-mail to a long list of recipients Send copy to self or save in Outbox to confirm recipients
Header Info – Subject: Good e-mail practices: Keep subject description short but informative Use as title/heading for document Keep e-mail focused on one subject Use “Priority” options only when necessary Consider using subject labels, like ACTION, FYI, RE:, URGENT, etc. Remember: Unclear subject lines may lead to unread or deleted messages
Header Info – CC: & BCC: Problems to avoid: Copying without a reason Copying routine messages Copying to inappropriate recipients Using CC: and BCC: interchangeably Failing to copy to self (or to save to outbox)
Header Info – CC: & BCC: Good e-mail practices: Copy messages needing action, progress report or documentation Copy to appropriate recipients Use CC: for recorded copy; use BCC: for unrecorded copy Keep a copy of sent e-mails
Heading Info: Attachments Only send necessary attachments (if cannot be sent within e-mail) If not an MS Office format, check to see if format can be opened Note attachment and format in e-mail body Try not to attach large files or multiple files (Upload and e- mail link as alternative)
Content: Meaning, Tone and Style E-mail feels “conversational”, but it isn’t. Like all business communications, it is purposeful and targets a specific audience. The goal is to send a clear message that is received, understood and acted upon by the receiver.
Content: Meaning Certain kinds of messages should NOT be sent via e- mail: –Confidential information (usually) –Disciplinary action or performance reviews –Complaints concerning individuals –Negotiations or complex information These messages should be initially handled by phone or face-to-face to avoid misunderstanding or third party disclosure.
Content: Meaning Language Issues Avoid jargon and acronyms for outside audiences Be careful of clichés, slang, puns, and sports references for overseas audiences Write out dates to avoid confusion
Content: Meaning Quoting in Replies Only include the entire message or thread of previous postings if needed Cut and paste relevant parts of previous messages Do not send a long quote with a short “Me too!” message
Content: Meaning Practice good business writing –Single topic for each e-mail –Precise, direct language for clarity –Short, well-organized paragraphs for ease of reading –Clear request for action when appropriate –Proofread for clarity and effectiveness
Content: Tone Because e-mail lacks verbal and non-verbal cues, it may convey tone or emotion not intended. Avoid humor, irony and sarcasm Emoticons ;-) may help some readers, but are too informal for business documents Do not use “all caps” as this may be considered SHOUTING at readers
Content: Tone Flaming: The expression of extreme emotion or opinion in an e-mail message, usually directed at someone or at a group –Unlike phone or personal conversations, e-mails may be saved, forwarded, printed –Flaming tends to generate flaming in response –Flaming may be caused by misinterpreting meaning or motives not intended by the original sender –Flaming can affect morale and image
Content: Tone To avoid flaming: Do not send an immediate response Reread the original message Draft a response with relevant facts or evidence Re-read your response before sending Instead of responding via e-mail, call or meet with the sender to “break the cycle”
Content: Style E-mail readers want a short, easy to read business document so … Include a salutation or use receiver’s name in first sentence Use word-wrap Single-space within paragraphs and double-space between paragraphs Write in complete sentences Include a signature block Use stationary only if appropriate/accepted
Content: Style Make e-mail easy to read and understand Put important points near beginning Use short paragraphs Include subheadings and lists Check spelling and grammar
Sending, Replying, Forwarding E-mail is a “public” posting tool for documents. Once sent, the document cannot be retrieved. This makes proper delivery of e-mail vital to proper e-mail etiquette. Don’t send anything you wouldn’t want published!
Sending, Replying, Forwarding When sending e-mail … Reread message and list of recipients before sending Only send messages to involved or interested parties Only send broadcast messages when appropriate and relevant Only use Return Receipt when needed
Sending, Replying, Forwarding When replying to e-mail … Reread message before sending Confirm e-mail address(es) for reply Only use “Reply to All” when needed Remember that mail list/listserv responses usually go to all members
Sending, Replying, Forwarding When forwarding e-mail … Include a short explanation with forward Confirm e-mail address(es) for forward Only forward to interested/involved parties Consider whether permission to forward is appropriate or necessary
Sending, Replying, Forwarding Do NOT send, reply to, or forward: –E-mail containing inappropriate content –E-mail with attachments from unknown senders –Attachments that are executable files (.exe) –Spam, chain letters, virus hoaxes, etc.
Miscellaneous Tips Use an effective e-mail signature –Name and contact info –5-6 lines maximum –Include e-mail address Use separate e-mail accounts for business and personal correspondence Keep copies of all important messages sent and received Use filters to manage e-mail “load”
Summary of Etiquette Guidelines Keep e-mail messages concise, professional and relevant Proof your message before sending Revise and edit as needed Do not e-mail complex, sensitive or confidential messages Quote sparingly Confirm recipients’ interest, involvement, and addresses Use a clear Subject line Send attachments only when necessary Use discretion when replying to e-mail Do not flame Do not send/forward inappropriate material
E-mail Strategies for Success Think of P.A.T. before you write –Purpose (What are you trying to say? What are your desired results?) –Audience (What do they need to receive your message? What do they want from your document? What are barriers to communication? ) –Technique (Based on my Purpose and the Audience’s needs/wants, how do I best write and deliver my message?)
E-mail Strategies for Success Compose offline –Write your e-mail message using your word processing program, then paste into your e-mail –Avoids hasty messages and accidental sending –Allows for proofing and editing with easy spell and grammar check
E-mail Strategies for Success Don’t hurry an e-mail –Leave time to check recipients, addresses and attachments –Reread your message for meaning, tone and style –Run spelling and grammar check –Make sure it’s “ready to go”
Proofreading Revisited Proof at least twice –Content (purpose, meaning, accuracy, emphasis, tone) –Mechanics (grammar, spelling, punctuation, style, document design) Mark errors, don’t fix them Organize your approach to proofing –Proof in “chunks” –Read silently and aloud –Checklist? Then revise and edit as needed!
E-Communications Resources Netiquette by Virginia Shea –http://www.albion.com/netiquettehttp://www.albion.com/netiquette How 11 (Handbook for Office Workers) by Lyn R. Clark, James Leland Clark Can I FAX You a Thank You Note? by Audrey Glassman FTC (Federal Trade Commission) SPAM Homepage –http://www.ftc.gov/spam/http://www.ftc.gov/spam/ Robert Slade’s Guide to Computer Viruses: How to avoid them, how to get rid of them, and how to help by Robert Slade
Agendas and Minutes Customized & Workplace Training AAI/Portland Community College Facilitated by George Knox
Agendas Purpose –Plan used to organize meeting –Defines/limits topics and tasks –Documents meeting to inform non-attendees –Assists in meeting preparation –Outline used by group during meeting –May be helpful in writing minutes
Agenda Format Name of group Date and time of meeting Location of meeting Brief description of topics listed chronologically or by priority Assignments by topic (if any) Proposed allotment of time for each topic Special instructions for participants AAI Agenda Templates are available on the AAI Intranet
Agenda Strategies Focus your agenda by limiting the number of agenda items For formal meetings, include a call to order, approval of agenda and minutes, and announcements Distribute the agenda in advance of the meeting If your meeting does NOT have an agenda, begin the meeting by setting one
Meeting Minutes Purpose: Final, accurate record of official proceedings Records motions and results during meeting Legal and/or contractual implications Used at next meeting to clarify past action
Structure of Meeting Minutes Minutes are organized by agenda (what happens in the meeting) and style (how the minutes will be used) Formal meetings (and minutes) are based on Parliamentary Form (Robert’s Rules of Order, sec. 60) and are either organizational or operational in function
Meeting Minutes Styles Report – A full, narrative record of all discussions w/ names of all speakers, movers and seconders of any motions Minutes of Narration – Records all motions and parties with some discussion (only relevant details) Minutes of Resolution – Records wording of passed resolutions (w/out movers and seconders) using introduction: “RESOLVED THAT”
Formal Minutes 1.Heading – Name of association, Type of meeting, Date, Time, Place 2.Attendance – Attending members, Absent members, Guests, Chairperson, Secretary 3.Minutes of past meeting – Approved w/out correction/Approved w/ correction/Not read 4.Announcements 5.Old Business 1.Motions and Resolutions 2.Reports, Appointments, Assignments 6.New Business (Action Items) 1.Motions and Resolutions 2.Reports, Appointments, Assignments 7.Adjournment – Who adjourned, Time 8.Next Meeting – Date, Time, Place 9.Signatures – Secretary and Chairperson
Informal Minutes Heading Attendance Action taken and results Action planned, responsible parties and deadlines Next meeting
What to Record Do record: Motions and resolutions verbatim Names of speakers, movers and seconders Summaries of discussions New information Action planned, responsible parties and deadlines Do not record: Old material Redundant info Personal comments or observations Discussion before or after meeting Secretary’s feelings or reactions Discussion excluded by chairperson
Tips for Taking Minutes Read Robert’s Rules of Order Have an agenda and a copy of the last meeting minutes Have a list of all committee members (and check off attendees) or use sign-in sheet Ask for introductions and create seating map Encourage the Chairperson/committee not to deviate from agenda Use an audio recorder as a back-up Record every action taken Be ready to read back motions and resolutions Write minutes up as soon after meeting as possible Have Chairperson review a draft before finalizing
Additional Resources Robert’s Rules of Order: http://www.constitution.org/rror/rror--00.htm http://www.constitution.org/rror/rror--00.htm Public Commission on the Oregon Legislature (Agenda and Minutes): http://www.leg.state.or.us/pcol/agen_minutes.htm http://www.leg.state.or.us/pcol/agen_minutes.htm Oregon HIPAA Task Force (Agendas and Minutes): http://egov.oregon.gov/DHS/admin/hipaa/taskforce/meetin gs.shtml http://egov.oregon.gov/DHS/admin/hipaa/taskforce/meetin gs.shtml
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