Advanced Technical Editing


Shonell Bacon
Editor and Instructor, ChickLitGurrl


Online Courses

Advanced Technical Editing

12 December 2018-16 January 2019 | Asynchronous (Self-Paced)

In today’s fast-paced, technologically driven society, where news cycles 24-7, where getting the story/content out first is most important, and where social media content is the gospel; content rules. What’s problematic about this is how loose content is often presented and how quick readers and users of the content are willing to accept that this content is the absolute truth.

Content is everywhere: in traditional media (books, newspapers, magazines), electronic media (TV, radio), and digital media (Internet—websites, social media, etc.), and though much of this content is in the entertainment realm, a lot of it is presented as documentation for users of companies’ products and services. Not doing due diligence in crafting clear, concise, and focused content for users can lead to small problems (the inability to put together a table) to disastrous one (physical harm).

Because of this, great writers and editors with exceptional writing, editing, communication skills are just as important now as they ever were. As technical editors, it’s paramount that we acknowledge our skills as editors and as writers and use our skills in all content-driven arenas

Advanced Technical Editing will assist in this worthy endeavor.

In this 6-week course, you will learn:

  • What makes up the basic editing procedure (between editor and client) and how to work the procedure to your advantage.
  • What the nuts and bolts of style, grammar, punctuation, and formatting are to aid you in being the best editor for your client.
  • How your writing skills are just as important as your editing skills when it comes to showing your worth to a client.
  • What strategies can be used in editing visual content.
  • What areas to examine when editing Web content.
  • How your technical editing skills can help companies who use social media platforms to communicate effectively with customers.

Session Descriptions

In this introductory session, we’ll discuss the basic editing procedure, from understanding the purpose, intended audience(s), format(s), and use(s) of a client’s material to editing the material and evaluating the outcome of the material’s use.

Every technical editor needs to be proficient in traditional areas of editing, and in this session, we’ll explore why your understanding of style, grammar, punctuation, and formatting is necessary to be a competent technical editor.

In her Technical Editing Foundations course, tech commer Li-At Rathbun writes, “Behind every great technical writer is a great technical editor.” I would add that within every great technical editor is a great technical writer—at least it should be.

In this session, we’ll examine the importance of the writer-editor role when it comes to providing constructive feedback and writing templates and style guides/sheets to help with future writings.

Text is king, but right alongside it, and as important as it, is Image as queen. Technical editors spend a great of deal editing text, and in our Instagram, Snapchat, online-driven society, we find ourselves more and more critiquing images to make sure they are clear, focused, and appropriate for their intended audience, and in this session, we will discuss various aspects to consider when editing visual content.

Once upon a time, there were books. There were also journals and magazines—physical products that users had to hold, flip pages through, etc. With the advancement of technology, much of the content users view and read now can be found online—in websites and wikis, for example.

In this session, we’ll discuss general Web design principles and markup strategies while also looking at issues, such as accessibility.

As was discussed last week, most users of products and services go online to find the help they need to use the products and services they buy. In the era of social media, users are heading to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and others to directly communicate with companies about the good, bad, and ugly of their wares.

In this session, we’ll examine how the skills of the technical editor are a perfect fit for companies who use social media as a catch-all for helping their customers with their products and services.


Shonell Bacon has been an editor and educator for nearly 20 years. Through her company ChickLitGurrl, she edits in a wide range of areas, to include fiction (multiple genres), non-fiction (academic, creativity, inspirational, self-help), academic (dissertations, proposals, papers, theses), and trade (articles and studies for journals and magazines). From 2014 to 2017, she served as a copy editor for STC’s academic journal Technical Communication, and in 2017 and 2018, she worked as an editorial assistant to STC’s magazine INTERCOM.

As an educator, Shonell has taught English and mass communication courses in the university setting; courses taught include Writing for the Media, Management in New Media, Writing for Public Relations, Emerging Media Practices, English Composition I and II, and Advanced Grammar.

In addition to her work as an editor and educator, Shonell is an author of fiction and non-fiction; most of her works are published through ChickLitGurrl. Her latest book, Make Your Writing Bloom, is her first short work on writing; it’s designed to help writers reclaim the zest they lost for writing and get words on the page.

Shonell is a lover of grammar, mechanics, usage, introductions and conclusions, Works Cited and References pages, and organizing text to have the best impact on audience.

Her world is words.

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