Precise Edit Training Manual


The Precise Edit Training Manual provides comprehensive instruction on the 29 most common editing strategies we use and errors we fix. Each topic is fully explained with examples and strategies for editing and writing. This is the writing guide our editors use. Learn to write and edit like a professional.

I began writing this guide in 2007 to train freelance editors to meet my rigorous standards for effective, high-quality editing and writing. The initial manual had 12 topics, but it has expanded to 29 to address critical strategies. Now, you can learn from the same guide.

Topics include

Keeping it simple
Starting sentences with “there”
When verbs go bad
Adverbial pollution
Starting sentences with “it”
Using “You” inappropriately
Placing descriptions correctly
The power of three
10 Words to avoid in writing
Don’t Hedge
Writing effective paragraphs
Pacing ideas for impact
Organizing content
Combining impact strategies
Marketing questions for writers

Common usage errors
“That” vs. “which”
“Effect” vs. “affect”
“Who” vs. “whom”
“Lay” and “lie”
Aligning introductions
Fragments with conjunctions
Correct comma usage
Not only, but also
Using apostrophes
Sexist language and bad grammar
Ending sentences with prepositions
Subject-verb agreement

PURCHASE Information and Reviews

BUY: PDF version, $5.95

BUY: Kindle Version, $5.95

Book Details

Publisher: Precise Edit
Format: PDF, 8″ x 11″

Other Formats:

Book Reviews

Kylin ( reviewer)
This was not only useful but humorous, and really, what more can you ask for from a [writing] guide.

Good advice that many writers should read!

Gary Hawk
I love the concise, no nonsense format of the guides. They are easy to read and reference, and they make me a better writer. Thank you for writing them and providing them at a reasonable price. . .Written concisely in plain English with examples for each topic, the manual is an incredible and inexpensive tool writers of all abilities should possess.

Aaron Ng Yi Kai
I’ve been looking for a good book that deals with common writing problems and I’m glad to say I’ve found it in your training manual.

Pam H. (Sunshine Valley Writers’ Group)
Many thanks for the opportunity of reading your work Precise Edit. I compliment you on an excellent compilation of expert advice which has uncovered so many avenues of correct writing. It’s an excellent reference but I feel it could have been condensed a little.

As I am a novice writer, I found some of the paragraphs difficult to absorb, but the use of comparison sentences was most beneficial. I am sure more professional writers would find your Precise Edit invaluable. reviewer
This is educational, helpful and very useful. I highly appreciate it from the very beginning until the end. ‘Good writings always matters!’ I agree!

Pauline (Sunshine Valley Writers’ Group)
The Precise Edit Training Manual is an excellent reference for any writer keen to communicate not only clearly, but also to ensure correct use of grammar and punctuation. It has been a pleasure to read and to find that many of the ‘rules’ I learned as a child are unchanged.

I have selected a few areas that are particularly dear to me:

  • Clear, economical writing. To abolish unnecessary words tightens a story so that it ‘flows’, the better to ensure a reader’s interest. I have found that when I read my work out loud, all sorts of errors become obvious, including spelling, punctuation and the dreaded use of too many words.
  • Adverbial pollution comes under the heading of unclear, uneconomical writing. Some adverbs are great but they are so over-used!
  • Starting sentences with ‘there was’ or ‘it was’ is boring and indicates that writers aren’t trying hard enough to make their stories interesting.
  • Loved the section on the ‘power of three’! It’s such a logical technique to emphasise a point. Groups of three are evident everywhere –especially in good writing, good garden design and in artistic composition.

I enjoyed reading further chapters drawing attention to the ten words to avoid (I particularly abhor ‘a lot’); the difference between ‘that’ and ‘which’ and the misuse of apostrophes (a pet aversion). The section on the use of commas should be mandatory reading in every school. However, it appears that modern writers (and editors) are reavaluating the use of commas and, unless necessary to making sense of a sentence, are claiming that conjunctions can take their place. I believe this change, like the Cococolarisation of Australian colloquial speech patterns, the use of ‘me’ instead of ‘I’ and ‘was’ instead of ‘were’, is inevitable but proves again that the English language is not static.

Julie Cobham (Sunshine Valley Writers’ Group)
I am enamoured of your Precise Edit Training Manual. The printed document now resides on my desk as a reference tool.

I initially found your article on S+V+O daunting. However by persisting, I had a light bulb moment and understood. The nominalised verbs article was interesting. Australia has reversed the matter in one instance by using rubbish as a verb in the nation wide slogan “Don’t rubbish Australia.”

I did plead guilty to adverbial pollution, but am now scrupulous in deleting them. Your Ten Words to Avoid and Common Usage Errors were marvelous. I particularly like the replacement options you give. The blatant misuse of commas and apostrophes is addressed in your articles, for which I am grateful. I plan on showing it to a few fellow writers!

Your gentle humour in the given examples made the accepting of my errors easier to bear.

I found the rules clearly explained and the examples helpful. I enjoyed, too, the writer’s professional voice yet good sense of humor.

Thank you. Very helpful information!

This is a valuable analysis, especially for a novice like myself. Thanks for the tips.

It is not often that I see something about the techniques of writing that make this much sense to me. So, well done!

What an informative and knowledgeable piece of writing.

THANK YOU, Thank You, thank you. Writing is fun, but difficult at best. This allows me to look at my work more objectively.

The flow was good and each subject was dealt with thoroughly before going on to the next. This kept the reader focused and on point. The structure is good and the pace is unhurried and information filled.

It’s a rare skill to be able to explain the nuts and bolts of grammar clearly, and you have that skill, certainly.

Great advice. It will be most helpful to any future writing projects of mine.

Michelle Keyes
Clear, concise, and to the point and chock full of great writing advice. I plan on sharing this with many other writers I know and will refer to it frequently during my editing.