Dragonfly’s to-do list template

To-do lists are my bread and butter. I love them. But we all know they can become intimidating with each added task. The solution? Make your to-do list manageable by limiting what you put on it. Here’s a template that can help. You can download the PDF file here.                       …

Dragonfly’s guide to proofreading marks

When you’re immersed in a proofread, it’s easy to forget about all of the different kinds of proofreading marks you can use. Here’s a quick guide to what all of them mean. You can download the PDF file here. This post is part of a series featuring Dragonfly field guides, tips, and tricks. You can download the PDF file here. …

Measuring readability using Microsoft Word

Readable content is clear and easy to understand. The Flesch-Kincaid meter meaures the readability of a document and assigns it a grade level score. The lower the grade level, the easier it is to read. You can get a Flesch-Kincaid score for any document, directly in Microsoft Word. Here’s how to do it. You can download the PDF file here.   …

Field Guide to Concise Language

In the quest for clear writing, clunky phrases are like a field of poppies—slowing your readers down and putting them to sleep. Some of these phrases are redundant, some are jargony, and some are needlessly formal. To streamline your writing and enhance readability, prune these phrases ruthlessly. You can download the PDF file here. 12:00 noon noon 6-month period 6 …

Lead Editor Checklist

When we’re editing big documents with small deadlines, we often use a team of editors to divide and conquer the many pages that need to be reviewed. To keep those editors working in sync, we assign a lead editor. He or she is responsible for overseeing the team and ensuring that a quality product is delivered to our customer on …

Dragonfly Guide to Style Guides

Next to a dictionary, an editor’s top resource is a style guide. Style guides dictate how editors should handle hyphenation, capitalization, and number style. They describe how to format elements like bulleted lists and reference lists. They even proscribe certain elements of spelling, grammar, and punctuation. But which style guide should be used for which type of material? This handy …

Periodic table of copyediting

The ultimate guide to all things copyediting: from style guides, usage guides, and editorial associations to podcasts and fact-checking resources. You can download the PDF file here.    You can also get it as a poster here.    This post is part of a series featuring Dragonfly field guides, tips, and tricks. You can download the PDF file here.  You can also …

12 tips for crafting readable writing

Wouldn’t it be nice if readers dutifully read every scrap of our copy? Don’t kid yourself. They need information, and they need it fast. Your best bet? Create content that can be quickly scanned and that conveys your message unmistakably. You can download the PDF file here.     1: START WITH THE MOST IMPORTANT CONTENT Assume your reader will …

Levels of Edit

Editing is critical to any successful publication—whether it’s a website, white paper, newsletter, or blog. An editor’s job is to craft clean, error-free copy and ensure that the author’s message is clear. Different types of editing are used throughout the publishing process. Here’s a guide to the levels of edit and what each one accomplishes. You can download the PDF file …

Dragonfly’s Copyediting Checklist

Copyediting can be daunting. Not only do you need to check spelling and grammar, you need to ensure consistency, fix acronyms, improve readability … even make sure that URLs work! A checklist can help. Here’s the checklist we developed at Dragonfly. It’s helped us increase the quality and consistency of our editing. We hope it helps you, as well. You can …