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How to Edit Technical Documents is the most concise and clearly presented discussion of the editor's role and responsibilities to the writer, the reader, and the publishing process--including changes that result from technological advances in editing. The authors describe the demands of communicating complicated information, in print and on screen, without diminishing the expressive power of language. As a result, users learn the skills necessary to become contributing members of any organization that requires informed and imaginative editors.
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Donald W. Bush is a lecturer in technical writing at San Diego State University and a former technical editor for McDonnell Douglas, St. Louis, Missouri, where he worked for 25 years. He has extensive experience in journalism, public relations, and technical editing, including seven years as public relations supervisor at Southwestern Bell Telephone Company. He has taught writing and editing courses at various universities and colleges and has written numerous articles and book reviews, mostly on technical writing and editing.
Charles P. Campbell, PhD, is professor emeritus of English, Humanities Department, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro, New Mexico. Previously, he taught English at several other universities and colleges. He has written and edited numerous articles, reports, book reviews, and films, and is a frequent presenter and lecturer on the subject of technical communication.Review:
"[A] practical guide for editing both the substance and structure of technical documents. While primarily designed for editors, this 169-page guide and accompanying workbook will also help educators and students improve technical writing skills." - Tech Directions
"One pleasantly noticeable feature of these companion texts is their narrative voice. I find it comfortably readable and simultaneously authoritative without sounding overly dogmatic. The writing is vivid, opinionated, and yet not at all pretentious. . . . Bush and Campbell demonstrate a clear competence to speak about technical editing. This competency is based upon a real familiarity with workplace practices and competency is based upon a real familiarity with workplace practices and expectations and an updated and comprehensive knowledge of current research in the domains of rhetoric, linguistics, and cognitive psychology." - Journal of Business and Technical Communication
"[E]ssential reading for all technical communicators. . . . I found the accompanying workbook stimulating. . . . It is the direct approach of the book's principles that make Bush and Campbell's ideas powerful. . . . [A]n excellent textbook for advanced technical communication students. It also works as a discussion stimulator, refresher course, and research tool for experienced editors and writers. . . . [I]t will push you to think about some of the core values of our profession." - Technical Communication
"These two volumes could be a useful reference for any advisor involved in producing written material." - NACADA Journal
"[T]he best feature of How to Edit Technical Documents is that it makes you think about neglected aspects of the editor's work. . . . Their concept of the editor's job goes beyond the copyediting level to something that can reasonably be called technical editing rather than simply the copyediting of technical documents. . . . Perhaps the best chapter is on triage (i.e. editing manuscripts under deadline pressure), where the first task is to rea d the copy and see if it makes sense, rather than to first attack issues like consistency of capitilization. . . . As someone who came to editing from the science/engineering (rather than the language) side of the desk, I heartily agree with this approach. The authors also provide in this chapter a useful real-world example of a triage edit, which focuses on the organization of the document to make it at least understandable (if not well-edited in the traditional sense)." - IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication
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