The Art of Self-Editing for Genealogists

Instructor: Pam Anderson, CG
Dates offered: Tuesdays, April 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 23rd
Time: 3:00pm ET – 6:00pm ET/noon PT – 3:00pm PT
Cost: $300
Registration: 19-25 January 2023

Course Description: Once an “ugly” first draft is finally written, it’s time to polish it for distribution. To help ensure acceptance by a publication, the goal is to offer the best possible product. When sharing with family, the goal is to retain interest. Genealogy Standards include twenty-three standards for writing, including the Genealogy Proof Standard’s fifth component, developing “a soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion.” Whether submitting to an editor, a credentialling body, or family, self-editing is an essential part of the process.

Skill-Based Prerequisites for Attendees:

  • 500-word writing sample to use throughout the course
  • Completion of a short survey provided by instructor
  • Passion for genealogical writing

Pre-Assignment: Submit a 500-word writing sample for use throughout the course.

Course Outline
(Subject to Change)

Session 1:

  • Introductions
  • Lecture: Self-editing the overall product
  • In-Class Exercise
  • Lecture: Determining audience: editors, credential, family
  • Homework Assignment

Session 2:

  • Lecture: Paragraph structure, content, and substance
  • In-Class exercise
  • Lecture: Paragraph organization and flow
  • Homework Assignment

Session 3:

  • Lecture: Grammar, punctuation, and citations
  • In-Class exercise:
  • Lecture: Sentence succinctness, simplicity, and readability
  • Homework Assignment

Session 4:

  • Lecture: Style guides, spelling, and capitalization
  • In-Class exercise
  • Lecture: Synonyms, simplicity; next steps