Entries by Leslie Saffrey

How Much Fact-Checking?

A question that regularly crops up when editors talk among themselves is, How much fact-checking, if any, should I be doing as I edit? I’m going to address this primarily from the perspective of a copyeditor, since that is the role where most checking might be expected. First, what does a copyeditor do? Beginning editors […]

Sample Copyedits: Yes or No?

A recurring debate among copyeditors is whether to do sample edits for prospective clients. Some editors never do them; others (like me) almost always do. Some charge a fee for the sample; others (like me) do them for free. The sample serves several purposes: It shows the client my approach and how I can improve […]

Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism is popping up in the news again, and it makes regular appearances in discussions on editors’ forums. But there is often confusion as to what constitutes plagiarism. Simply put, plagiarism is making someone else’s writing appear to be your own. It’s not enough just to name the source; text that is directly quoted must […]

Creating Tables

A table is a set of intersecting columns and rows showing data according to well-defined categories. The purpose of a table is to reveal relationships within the data. Below are some guidelines on creating tables. The focus here is on organizing the content rather than the graphic design (colours, lines, spacing, etc.). These guidelines are […]

Creating Reports That Get Results

An effective report is structured, written, and designed with a particular audience in mind. And, equally important, it has a specific purpose: its creators know exactly what they want that audience to do after reading it. In creating any document, you should identify its likely readers—the audience. What do they already know about the subject? […]