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Editing for Maximum Effectiveness


After putting pen to paper (either literally or figuratively) comes the important task of editing: it’s a skill set related to, but different from, writing. Equipping ourselves to edit our own work, as well as the writing of others, is the foundation of this course. Participants will learn how to approach their own documents with “fresh eyes” and overcome the temptation to change (as opposed to edit) another person’s document. We’ll learn how to avoid the common pitfalls that inhibit a reader’s ability to understand what we’ve written, as well as look at samples of common business documents – both good and bad.


Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Learn how to edit for clarity and meaning
  • Identify good sentence structure and study how to replicate it in their own writing
  • Experience editing different documents such as business letters, issue memos, staff reports, and emails
  • Explore ways to move their writing from the informal and conversational to business and technical
  • Discuss the implications of bad writing and lack of editing
  • Strategize ways to be more objective and less emotional in writing and editing
  • Demonstrate the ability to use basic editorial marks while reviewing others’ writing

Recommended Prerequisites

Other writing courses from the CALHR offerings or a good grasp of basic writing and grammar.

Intended audience

This class is designed for supervisors or managers who edit the writing of others and any staff person or analyst who does a substantial amount of writing.



Updated 7/23/2019
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