Editing Checklist

This checklist acts as guide for editors when revising technical documents. Most items have a dropdown menu that further explains the mistakes editors should look for. When an item has been completed, click on the box to check it off.

  • Information is interesting and applicable to the audience
  • Article length is concise and easy to scan
  • New terms are defined
  • The subject is explored in depth without overextending the article's scope
  • Titles, headings, and subheadings are clear and concise
  • Sections are organized either sequentially or by importance
  • Job titles are lowercase (e.g. course lead, director)
  • Departments, official groups, and courses are capitalized (e.g. Course Council, Curriculum Development, Art 235)
  • "Online" is only capitalized when referring to the Online Organization and it lowercase when used as an adjective
  • The first word after the colon in all definitions are capitalized

Homophones are used in correct situations (e.g. they're, their, and there; its and it's; affect and effect)

  • Numbers from one to nine are written out (e.g. "two," not "2")
  • Numbers at the beginning of sentences are written out (e.g. Fifteen people chose 11 desserts)
  • Numbered lists are only used if order matters
  • Long lists are bulleted or numbered instead of separated by commas
  • BYU-Idaho has a hyphen instead of an en dash
  • En dashes are used for numbers, dates, and times
  • Em dashes are used, when applicable, in place of commas or parentheses for emphasis
  • Lists use the Oxford comma
  • Introductory elements are followed with commas
  • Independent clauses are separated with commas and conjunctions
  • Comma splices are removed
  • Nonessential elements are encased in commas
  • Acronyms and initialisms only use periods when required (e.g. the U.S. and the NAACP)
  • Every paragraph ends in a period, when applicable
  • Lists do not end with periods unless each list point has both a subject and a predicate
  • Quotes within quotes have singular marks (e.g. She said, "Everyone loves 'Come on Eileen.'")
  • Singular words are avoided, and when they are used, they do not sound sarcastic (e.g. She said the party was "fun.")
  • Commas and periods are enclosed within the quotation marks unless a citation follows

E.g. "has the following responsibilities" instead of "is responsible for"

  • Passive voice is avoided when possible
  • Parellel structure is followed
  • Run-on sentences are shortened or deleted

Items in step-by-step lists are written in present tense (e.g. "the designer writes" instead of "the designer will write")

E.g. "The property has seasonal creeks and trail access" has a different meaning than "The property has trail access and seasonal creeks"

  • Color scheme is professional and appealing
  • Visual is placed near the text it refers to
  • Design elements are aligned
  • Size is appropriate

You are done. Great job!

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