Chapter 1 - Tips for Editors

Constructive Feedback and Revision Requests

Many editing jobs will require you to interact with writers by providing feedback or requesting revisions.

Directly communicating with writers has the potential to make the editing process much easier — if you approach feedback and revision requests in the right way.

  1. Only provide constructive feedback.
  2. Only request revisions when it is extremely necessary.

Here are a few tips for making sure that your approaches to feedback and revisions best benefit you and the writers.

How to Provide Constructive Feedback

Always be helpful and motivating. Positive, constructive feedback can go a long way. The main goal of feedback isn’t to criticize a writer; it is to help the writer improve.

Never be condescending or belittling. Keep in mind that this is online communication. What may sound polite in your head, may sound harsh in the mind of another.

Give positive feedback first. Always start off with something positive to get the writer in the right place to hear your other comments. Can’t think of anything to say? Keep it simple if nothing sticks out.

  • “I enjoyed your article.”
  • “I like how you approached this topic.”
  • “This is an improvement from your last article.”
  • “The [title, subheading, image, opening paragraph, closing paragraph, etc.] is great in this article.”
  • “I loved this [sentence, phrase, section, etc.].”

Explain what you fixed and advise on how to improve future work. If you did work to improve the article, let the writer know. (If you don’t tell them, how will they know?) Also let them know how they can improve next time.

Alternate between highs and lows. If you are offering lengthy feedback, alternate batches of positive and negative feedback to keep the mood from sinking too low or too high.

  • “I removed [element] because [reason].”
  • “Be mindful of [problem]. I corrected one or more of these errors in your article.”
  • “There were multiple errors in [element] which I corrected. In the future, check for these errors before you submit your article.”
  • “The [element] was a little weak in this article. Next time try to improve by [advice].”
  • “I noticed that you struggled with [element]. This resource [insert resource] can offer some advice on how to improve.”

Save time and use our Suggestions for Editorial Feedback to find comments on common editorial mistakes. You can copy and paste our feedback and provide it to your writers.
End with a thank-you and word of encouragement.

  • “Thanks for your hard work on this article.”
  • “I look forward to working with you again.”
  • “Keep up the good work.”

How to Approach Revision Requests

Remember that as an editor, your job is to primarily edit the work yourself.

Don’t send articles back to a writer when the copy requires small changes that you can make. Sending articles back to a writer extends the article timeline and pushes back deadlines. So it’s best to make the edits yourself.

CopyPress Editors don’t send articles back for revisions unless the article completely failed to meet the requirements of the assignment. They never send articles back to writers to make small adjustments or correct grammar and syntax errors. Our editors make the changes themselves, then note it in the feedback so the writer is aware of the mistakes.

Learn more about how CopyPress Editors handle revisions requests and writer feedback.

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