Editing Made Easy
Simple Rules for Effective Writing
By Bruce Kaplan
Editing Made Easy is a quick, easy-to-read book that will help you communicate clearly and professionally. You will learn how to:
- make your writing more exciting and dynamic.
- avoid the most common errors of grammar and spelling.
- understand the styles of print and online media.
- avoid typographical and factual errors.
- improve the chances of having your work published.
An international edition of Editing Made Easy, originally published in Australia, is a best-selling resource for writers throughout much of the English-speaking world. Now, the author has completely rewritten it to cover the rules and conventions of American English.
About the Author
Bruce Kaplan is a newspaper copy editor and editorial trainer with international experience spanning more than 40 years. He has held senior positions with major publications in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore. He trains editors and writers for newspapers and magazines, and tutors at writers’ centers and tertiary education. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What People are Saying
(Reviewer: Stacey Rae Brownlie, Franklin & Marshall Coll. Lib., Lancaster, PA)
In this U.S. edition of his Australian book of the same title, longtime newspaper editor Kaplan offers no-frills advice to self-editors. He stresses the value of writers who know how to edit their own work. His approach is similar to Bruce Ross-Larson’s Edit Yourself. In 37 short chapters, Kaplan covers most thorny writing difficulties, such as split infinitives, tautologies, and misplaced modifiers. This is a book with lots of lists and white space: it would seem just as well suited to use in a digital format as in the traditional print version. The book’s portability and its low price make it especially useful for college students and bloggers. VERDICT This affordable, bare-bones guide will appeal to writers (and others who have to write) – especially those who like referring to a handy list of do’s and don’ts.
FROM MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
(The Writing/Publishing Shelf)
It is rare that even an experienced and successful author has not needed the services of an editor. In “Editing Made Easy: Simple Rules for Effective Writing,” Bruce Kaplan draws upon his more than forty years of professional experience and expertise as a newspaper copy editor and an editorial trainer to create a succinct, thoroughly ‘user friendly,’ 112-page compendium of instruction, information, commentary, examples, and techniques for editing a manuscript to make the writing energized, engaging, and just plain better. “Editing Made Easy” lays out common errors of grammar and spelling; reveals how best to avoid typographical and factual errors; become informed as to the diverse styles of print and the varied online media. One of the principal reasons for the novice author to give “Editing Made Easy” a careful reading is to substantially improve their chances of having their manuscripts published, and as published books have them achieve a marketplace success. Covering the rules and conventions of American English, “Editing Made Easy” is informed, informative, and highly recommended for both personal reference shelves and community library Writing/Publishing instructional collections.
This book is a revised and expanded version of my original book, Editing Made Easy, first published in Australia in 1999. I have added chapters, and enlarged some previously published chapters, with more examples and more comprehensive explanations. Significantly, this edition accommodates the rules, conventions, and spellings of American English.
This book is non-technical. My aim is to provide straightforward, practical guidelines for editing, not discuss advanced English grammar. So, although I refer when necessary to such basic terms as noun, verb and pronoun, you will find no loftier technical grammatical terms here, such as present perfect progressive, correlative conjunctions, imperative mood or interrogative adjective.
However, a note of caution is in order. Much of the advice in this book is not to be written in stone. English is a flexible language, and writing a creative calling. There are many acceptable ways for writers to express themselves.
For example, I make the point that two or three short sentences are often better than one long sentence. This is certainly true—but it does not mean there is no room for a well-crafted longer sentence that expresses something important in a certain way or adds to the lyricism, rhythm or power of a text.
Likewise, I warn against using too much passive voice because it can slow the pace. But there are sometimes occasions when the passive voice is needed to maintain a cohesive, flowing narrative.
So be flexible. The purpose of this book is to put the odds on your side; to increase your chances of being published or finding success as a reporter, feature writer, novelist, freelance writer, blogger, Web developer, Web editor, communications consultant, advertising copywriter, speechwriter or public relations consultant—in fact anything involving the written word.
-Bruce Kaplan, 2012