EDTEC Training

Online  and

​onsite training

Substantive Editing

From checking the facts to tweaking the commas, substantive editing covers every aspect of a document. The biggest challenge may be  figuring out where to start. In this class, you will learn how to separate the various aspects of a piece of writing and address them one by one. You will address the value of the content to potential readers, factual accuracy and logic, organization, tone, and writing style of example documents. Then you’ll practice repurposing content for different audiences and framing the content for the reader’s ease of use. 

In our intensive workshop on sentences, you will measure and
improve readability. Then you will practice specific techniques for making text
clearer, more concise, more interesting, and more convincing.

By using a custom substantive assessment form, you will
evaluate whole documents and plan your time so that you don’t get bogged down
in grammar and details while the big picture goes wanting.

Specific Topics

  • Your job as substantive editor
  • Evaluating the tone and voice of a writer     
  • Substantively editing your own writing     
  • Factual Accuracy and Logic  
  • Editing for tone


Create strong subjects
  • Eliminate false subjects
  • Identify passive, active, and nonaction sentences
  • Make purposeful choices about active versus passive

Use strong verbs
  • Find hidden verbs
  • Move content from abstractions to actions

Organize sentences to emphasize important content

  • Check for coherence and organization
  • Explore options for paragraph structure
  • Revise paragraphs

Entire document
  • Use a substantive assessment form to organize
  • your work
  • Find the purpose and focus
  • Frame content for the reader


This two-day intensive workshop offers 12 hours of instruction.