Medical Writing Editing How to soften the red pen’s blow: Tips for editing a colleague’s work

Volume 27, Issue 3 - Editing

How to soften the red pen’s blow: Tips for editing a colleague’s work


Applying the dreaded red editing pen to colleague's work can be nerve-racking for professional writers. But there are some concrete steps every writer can take that will improve his or her ability to communicate the type of clear, constructive feedback any co-worker will appreciate. Here I discuss five of these steps: be clear, use the author's preferred way to receive feedback, provide examples, take your time, and praise effort.

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President’s Message
Honing your proofreading skills
How clear is the story?
Editing for writers who have English as an additional language
Microediting – details matter Quality, authority, and reputation: The value of microediting
Revision: Parameters and practices within the translation industry
How to soften the red pen’s blow: Tips for editing a colleague’s work
Go certified – get ready for the BELS exam
Anonymisation: A new challenge for medical writers
Reports from the spring conference in Barcelona: 6th EMWA Symposium
Reports from the spring conference in Barcelona: EMWA social events programme
Reports from the spring EMWA conference. Expert seminar: Use of clinical study reports for Cochrane Reviews
News from the EMA
Profile: An interview with Richard Wheeler
Journal Watch
Medical Devices
In the Bookstores
Lingua Franca and Beyond
Regulatory Public Disclosure
Regulatory Matters
Medical Communication
Good Writing Practice
Manuscript Writing
Getting Your Foot in the Door
My First Medical Writing
Out on Our Own
Upcoming issues of Medical Writing

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Editoral Board


Raquel Billiones


Evguenia Alechine

Jonathan Pitt

Managing Editor

Victoria White

Deputy Managing Editor

Alicia Waltman

Associate Editors

Anuradha Alahari

Jennifer Bell

Barbara Grossman

Daniela Nakagawa

John Plant

Sampoorna Rappaz

Joselita T. Salita

Petal Smart

Amy Whereat

Section Editors

Jennifer Bell


Nicole Bezuidenhout 

Digital Communication

Somsuvro Basu

EMWA News       

Aurélie Gobet / Paolo Rega

Gained in Translation

Ivana Turek

Getting Your Foot in the Door

Wendy Kingdom / Amy Whereat

Good Writing Practice

Alison McIntosh / Stephen Gilliver

In the Bookstores

Maria Kołtowska-Häggström

Lingua Franca and Beyond

Phil Leventhal

Manuscript Writing

Lisa Chamberlain-James

Medical Communications/Writing for Patients

Namrata Upadhyay

Medical Devices

Evguenia Alechine

My First Medical Writing

Anuradha Alahari

News from the EMA

Laura Kehoe

Out on Our Own

Tiziana von Bruchhausen


Clare ChangZuo Yen Lee 

Regulatory Matters

Sam Hamilton

Regulatory Public Disclosure

Claire Gudex

Teaching Medical Writing

Kimi Uegaki

The Crofter: Sustainable Communications

Louisa Marcombes

Veterinary Writing

Editors Emeritus

Elise Langdon-Neuner

Phil Leventhal

Lay out Designer

Chris Monk