Dragonflies and Catapults: A tale of two agencies

When companies come to Dragonfly, we help them deal with a variety of issues ranging from in-depth copyediting to quality content creation. But there are times when those companies end up needing something Dragonfly isn’t equipped to provide. Things like digital design, brand cultivation, or nurturing of their web presence. That’s when we turn to an organization that has been …

7 Steps to Editing for Readability

Whether you’re writing web copy, white papers, or proposals, readability is important. Why? Because today’s readers are distracted and impatient. They want to find the answers they need as quickly as possible. As an editor, you can help readers by creating clear copy that’s easily scanned and understood. Here’s how.     STEP 1: ESTABLISH BASELINE READABILITY Run readability statistics …

Editor Sophie Michals is just what the doctor ordered

If there’s knowledge to be gained from every job, the one lesson Sophie Michals has learned from her years as an editor is that she’s happiest when she’s her own boss. The St. Louis native, who now lives in Chicago, became a contractor for Dragonfly in May 2017 after years working in advertising and consulting firms. Undaunted by layers of …

Editing Rules vs. Pet Peeves

As a baby editor, excited to be starting my career and filled with just enough knowledge to be dangerous, I latched onto a few grammar “rules” that I applied across the board. It didn’t matter if the text was formal, like a peer-reviewed paper, or more conversational, like a blog post, letter, or even a YA novel: rules are rules. …

What’s it like writing for the construction industry?

Like everyone else, builders, contractors, and project managers have stories to tell. All they need is someone to tell them. If you’re a niche copywriter looking to expand your areas of expertise, consider giving construction writing a try. Entering the construction world fresh is daunting at first; the industry has a unique vocabulary that’s unfamiliar to most laypeople. And its …

Critical tools for medical editing

To be a great medical editor, you need great copyediting skills: a sharp eye, attention to detail, and a drive to get things right. You also need to master the special conventions that govern medical publishing. Here are the resources you need to do that.       Style guides AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors, 10th …

Meet Dragonfly’s Kathryn Flynn

After a certain number of years in the newsroom, every journalist has an oddball collection of facts and a few good stories. Kathryn Flynn has those – plus a patent and a killer sense of humor. She was trained as a journalist at Indiana University, which was far enough from her hometown in Pennsylvania that she couldn’t duck home for …

Just Because

The other night, I watched a Star Trek TOS episode called “The Ultimate Computer.” In the episode, James T. Kirk quotes a poem to Dr. McCoy, identifying it only as “a poem from 20th century Earth.” He uses it to illustrate the yearning for exploration and discovery that mark us as human. I found it unexpectedly beautiful, and I figured we could …

Make way for macros

Dragonfly editors are a diverse bunch, each with different strengths and specialties gleaned from years of experience, but always united in their quest to deliver readable, error-free copy to our clients. Sometimes we fly solo, and sometimes we work as part of a team of editors. To do what we do can be a challenge logistically and technologically, but we …

3 tips for editing figures and tables

A few years ago, members of the Dragonfly editing team attended an audio conference hosted by Copyediting.com. The session covered the painstaking craft of figure and table editing. This was a helpful talk (and speaker Laura Poole a skilled coach). These were my take-aways:       Good editing doesn’t happen in just one pass. Poole recommends creating a checklist …