Frequently Asked Questions
What materials do the workshops include?
Workshops always include a customized handout and exercises specific to the topic and the group. All 14-hour workshops also include a copy of Good Writing Is Good Business. After the workshop, we send the participants more resources for their writing and editing toolbox.
What are some workshops you have recently delivered?
Here are a few of the workshops and webinars that Margaret has delivered in the last year:
- Plain language workshops for Parks Canada and Canadian Energy Regulators
- Business writing workshops for Alberta Securities Commission and the RCMP
- Technical and business writing workshops for Matrix Solutions, TC Energy, and Canadian Natural
- Science writing and editing workshops for Alberta Water Council and Hotchkiss Brain Institute
- Grammar workshops for Canadian Pacific and Cadillac Fairview
- Webinars for Nature Conservancy of Canada and Editors Canada
What writing services do you provide?
Our writing services include the following:
- technical and business writing
- copywriting (marketing and promotional materials)
- curricula both for classroom and online delivery
- social media content
- web writing
What are some common challenges that business writers encounter?
Some challenges are unique to the writer and to the organization, but here are a few common themes:
- Many people don’t have the training, resources, and tools they need to manage their many writing tasks. Result: writers who lack confidence in their ability to write efficiently and correctly. Unfortunately, writing is often an undervalued skill in the workplace—a sad case of affairs for all the busy writers and the organization itself.
- Expectations are not always clear. For example, managers might not agree on a common style and tone. With consistent expectations, along with other time savers such as templates and in-house style guides, it’s easier for writers to please different internal audiences.
- The document review process can be frustrating. People needs to understand their role in the review process, and all the content edits need to be addressed before the copyediting and stylistic editing takes place.
Could you explain the different kinds of editing services you provide?
Gladly! It’s helpful to understand the different kinds of editing. The following are adapted from Editors Canada’s “Definitions of Editorial Skills.”
Copyediting is editing that ensures correctness, accuracy, consistency, and completeness. It includes the following:
- editing for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage
- checking for consistency of mechanics and facts
- editing tables, figures, and lists
- developing a style sheet or following one that is provided
- correcting or querying general information that should be checked for accuracy
Stylistic editing is editing that ensures clarity, coherence, and flow. It includes the following:
- eliminating wordiness, jargon, and clichés
- revising for clarity and plain language
- adjusting the length and structure of sentences and paragraphs
- establishing or maintaining an appropriate language level and tone with the intended purpose and audience in mind
Structural editing is editing that improves a document’s organization and content. It includes the following:
- reordering, cutting, or expanding material
- recasting material that would be better presented another way
- writing original material if necessary
Many people confuse copyediting with proofreading. Proofreading is actually the last step in the editorial process. It includes the following:
- checking that the copyeditor’s edits were properly captured
- looking for minor mechanical errors that previous editors missed
- checking for issues that occurred in the design and layout process (e.g., bad page breaks, misaligned headings, hyphenation)