From Wordiness to Plain Language: Editing with Style

Presenter: Kathryn Dean
 Number of sessions: 2

Length: 3 hours
Cost: $112.50 for members, $150 for non-members
Language: English

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When readers are confronted with wordy and inflated prose, they can easily miss or misinterpret the author’s message—or they may give up reading the document altogether. As editors, one of our tasks is to ensure that authors write with clarity and precision instead of wandering into verbal “swamps.”

In this two-part webinar, you’ll learn how to identify and correct wordiness, repetition, inflated language, and weasel words. You’ll also become familiar with the key components of plain language, good paragraphing, and bias-free writing.

Attention will also be given to imprecise words and incomplete expression, faulty or unclear antecedents, “smothered verbs,” jargon/cliché, misused words, mixed metaphors, wobbling verb tense, and making sure that dialogue is appropriate to the characters who speak it.

You’ll also have the opportunity to edit sentences and short passages taken from works of fiction and nonfiction, including corporate documents and children’s fiction.

Kathryn Dean


Kathryn Dean has edited and project-managed a wide variety of trade, educational, and corporate publications, including books by Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Robert Bateman, Mary Lou Finlay, Mordecai Richler, Terry O’Reilly, and Maude Barlow. She also teaches Ryerson University’s Copy Editing for Books, Journals, and Reports and is a winner of the Editors Canada Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence.