10 Technical Editing in the 21st Century technical writers/editors.

And because IEEE is the parent organization, PCS members have exposure to a wealth of information regarding engineering issues and concerns. If you want an organization that is predominantly focused on teaching technical editing and writing, check out the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing (www.attw.org) , or the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication, (www.cptsc.org).

THE LEVELS OF EDIT The most widely accepted method of technical editing is called the levels of edit. Originally developed in 1976 by Robert Van Buren and Mary Fran Buehler of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the five levels of edit denote “separate and distinct applications of the editorial process.” The levels are named simply 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Level 1 is the most thorough edit, whereas level 5 is the least thorough. In addition to the levels of edit, Van Buren and Buehler developed nine types of edit for technical writing at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. As you can see in Figure 1.4, the five levels of edit intersect with the nine types of edit to describe the amount of editing to be performed on a document. The types of edit each reflect a different aspect of the technical document that needs attention. For example, a policy edit checks for whether or not the document adheres to company policy standards. A technical editor would ensure in a policy edit that if it is company policy that all external documents contain the company logo, the document being edited must also contain the logo.

Type of Edit Level 1 x x x x x x x x x Level 2 x x x x x x x x

Level of Edit Level 3 x x x x x Level 4 x x x x Level 5 x x

Coordination Policy Integrity Screening Copy Clarification Format Mechanical Style Language Substantive


Van Buren and Buehler’s Types and Levels of Edit.

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