Editing Technical Instructional Material: Do You Need to Be an Expert?

This blog post was originally published on the Editors Canada blog, The Editors’ Weekly blog.

“How can you edit that? You don’t know anything about being an electrician.”

I often heard that question and variations of it — carpenter, instrument technician, welder — in my years editing technical instructional materials for apprenticeship trades in Alberta. This is how I answered the question.

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A Measure of Editing Success

This blog post was originally published on the Editors Canada blog, The Editors’ Weekly.

The term “metrics” has become a bit of a business buzzword, especially for digital enterprises. It’s a trendy word for ways to quantifiably measure success such as tracking social media metrics (followers, click-through rates) or sales metrics (monthly numbers). As editors, though, we don’t have the same kinds of reliable metrics to help us measure the success of our editing endeavours. If we edit books, we might examine book sales, but those numbers can be attributable to many factors other than our edits. Other possible metrics are equally indirect. So how do editors measure their success?

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