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Technical Editing

An Introduction to Editing in the Workplace

Donald H. Cunningham, Edward A. Malone, and Joyce M. Rothschild

Publication Date - November 2019

ISBN: 9780190872670

592 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

A contemporary guide to the core skills, best practices, and evolving methods of technical editing


Technical Editing: An Introduction to Editing in the Workplace offers the most comprehensive, accessible, and current approach to technical and professional editing. Written by an experienced author team, the first part of the text provides an overview of the editing process (appraising the document, creating an editing plan, and implementing the plan), the second part covers substantive editing (editing for organization, completeness, accuracy, etc.), and the third part explains copyediting (from its principles and procedures to their application in practice) and proofreading. The authors discuss such topics as fraud in the workplace and whistleblowing; navigation aids in print and digital documents; redaction of classified or confidential information; layout and design principles; controlled languages, the plain English movement, and international varieties of English; content reuse and content management systems; and electronic editing skills. The book provides ample coverage of grammar, punctuation, and usage, with many authentic examples from technical and business documents.

About the Author(s)

Donald H. Cunningham taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels over the course of his thirty-five-year teaching career. He served in a number of administrative roles, including coordinator and director of technical communication programs at both Texas Tech and Auburn University.

Edward A. Malone is Professor of Technical Communication at Missouri University of Science and Technology, where he teaches an online course in technical editing, among other courses. He is an experienced editor and published author with an interest in computer-mediated communication as well as the history of technical communication.

Joyce M. Rothschild has taught technical editing at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and was a founding member and later the coordinator of Auburn University's Master of Technical and Professional Communication program. She has worked as a technical editor, proposal writer, and writer-editor for various organizations.


"Technical Editing is a thorough how-to textbook for students of all ages and majors, filled with relevant examples and actual scenarios. The authors take students on a journey that begins with an overview of the discipline. They explain the importance of planning, preparing, and organizing an editing project and then guide students step-by-step through the various types of editing and proofreading required in today's fast-paced professional world."--Aimee Whiteside, The University of Tampa

"Technical Editing is the most comprehensive, deep, and concrete treatment of editing processes, careers, and responsibilities that I have encountered in twenty-five years of teaching. It is among the most effectively and carefully contextualized texts for contemporary pedagogy and professional development in technical communication. The text is mindful of professional standards, information design technologies and practices, and audience needs. The authors set out to raise the standard of excellence for textbooks in technical communication, and I am incredibly impressed that they succeeded in accomplishing that goal."--Bill Williamson, Saginaw Valley State University

"This is a newer, slightly 'hipper' addition to the canon of editing textbooks that you can feel good about assigning to a room full of fresh-faced undergraduates in the twenty-first century. The book demystifies complex editing procedures that often plague those new to the profession."--Paul Cook, Indiana University Kokomo

Table of Contents


    Chapter 1. Introduction: Looking Back and Moving Forward
    Chapter 2. Preparing for an Editing Project
    Chapter 3. Planning and Implementing the Editing
    Chapter 4. Editing for Organization
    Chapter 5. Editing for Navigation
    Chapter 6. Editing for Completeness
    Chapter 7. Editing for Accuracy
    Chapter 8. Editing for Style
    Chapter 9. Editing Visuals
    Chapter 10. Editing Page Design
    Chapter 11. Editing for Reuse
    Chapter 12. Copyediting: Principles and Procedures
    Chapter 13. Copyediting for Grammar: Verbs
    Chapter 14. Copyediting for Grammar: Subject-Verb Agreement
    Chapter 15. Copyediting for Grammar: Nouns
    Chapter 16. Copyediting for Grammar: Pronouns
    Chapter 17. Copyediting for Punctuation
    Chapter 18. Proofreading