Editing Your Own Writing – Part 1

Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGG
May 22, 2024
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About BCG
7m 27s
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Speaker's Introduction
1m 24s
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16m 22s
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Start with a Focus
3m 28s
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9m 10s
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Writing Rough
3m 21s
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Add to Draft
1m 55s
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2m 59s
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1m 34s
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4m 39s
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18m 58s
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Questions / answers
12m 33s

About this webinar

Genealogists write. Their written narratives include stories of ancestral families, biographies of individual ancestors, and explanations supporting genealogical proofs. For their writing to succeed, genealogists—like all effective writers—repeatedly self-edit everything they write. The process results in polished products that the genealogist’s readers will understand, enjoy, and cherish.

Emphasizing genealogical narrative, these two webinars will addresses the self-editing process. Part 1 will focus on “big-picture” editing, including stages of self-editing; focus; keeping the writer out of the narrative; editing the writing’s overall structure, organization, and flow; and improving major and minor subdivisions of written genealogical narratives, including paragraphing. Part 2 will focus on “nitty-gritty” editing, including capitalization, punctuation, sentence structure, spelling, word choice, and reducing word count.

About the speaker

About the speaker

Tom Jones is an award-winning genealogical researcher, writer, editor, and educator. He co-edited the National Genealogical Society Quarterly in 2003 through 2018, and he is the author of the textbooks Mastering Genealogical Proof
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  1. KP
    Karen Prytula
    5 days ago

    This was a great webinar. I liked that the speaker didn’t race through the presentation, and spoke slowly enough that we could absorb what he was saying and take notes where necessary. Also his use of examples was great too. Respectfully, other presenters could learn from him.

  2. LD
    Lene Draeby Kottal
    1 week ago

    Thank you for an outstanding presentation packed with recommendations for how to write clearly. I am looking forward to part 2.

  3. PM
    Peggy Maeger
    1 week ago

    Exceptionally good. I always enjoy Tom Jones’ webinars.

  4. AS
    Angela Snedaker
    1 week ago

    This lecture was so clear and instructive, but most of all encouraging!! So many times I have felt that the massive revisions I am making means I must not be a good writer – how many times is it going to take me to get it right? After this lecture, I can see that revision, even on a large scale, is a necessary iterative process that will only improve my work. The handout was beautifully done and comprehensive. Thank you for an excellent presentation!

  5. AM
    Alaine M Kier
    1 week ago

    I love research. I HATE writing. Yes, I learned the basics in school, but thank you Tom, for reminding me how important it is to pass on what I have learned to future generations effectively. I am looking forward to part two of this series.

  6. FL
    Freddie Lloyd Blackwell
    1 week ago

    Outstanding, great material and well presented. Thank you.

  7. LG
    Linda G Smith
    1 week ago

    He gave a lot of thoughts.

  8. AM
    Andrea McDonald
    1 week ago

    Tom Jones can be counted on to deliver a well prepared and logical presentation. Appreciate the 8 steps to self-editing. Will review time and time again. Looking forward to Part 2.


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