Below you’ll find plain language resources, editing checklists, a study showing the value of copyediting, and my favorite blogs on language and editing.

Plain Language

Everyday Words for Public Health Communication (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention): This is an excellent resource for anyone working in public health who needs to communicate clearly.

How to Write Clearly (European Union): Fantastic guide to help you write more clearly. KISS: keep it short and simple.

NIH Plain Language Online Training (National Institutes of Health): Free training for anyone who has an interest in public health and providing clear and concise communication.


Micro-editing checklist (Mignon Fogarty): Grammar Girl created this popular editing checklist. Download the PDF and print it out as a handy reference. I look for all of these things when I’m copyediting.

Macro-editing checklist (John McIntyre): The Baltimore Sun’s self-proclaimed “Old Editor” has been doing this for a long time. He has some great tips on what to look for in terms of structural development and organization.


Why and how to avoid jargon (Until the Lions): Avoid jargon in international development because there are better ways to communicate.

Jargon hurts the poor (Asian Development Blog): Using jargon discriminates against the poor and makes information inaccessible.

Study shows the value of copy editing (American Press Institute): A study by Fred Vultee, published in January 2015, showed that audiences can tell when a news article isn’t carefully edited, and it affects their perceptions of the quality, professionalism, and value of the articles.


After Deadline (New York Times)

An American Editor (Richard Adin)

Beyond Paper Editing (Carla Douglas and Corina Koch McLeod)

Language Log (Geoffrey Pullum)

Right Angels and Polo Bears (Adrienne Montgomery)

Sentence First (Stan Carey)

Until the Lions (Stephanie Buck)

You Don’t Say (John McIntyre)

Editorial Associations

Editorial Freelancers Association

American Copy Editors Society

Northwest Independent Editors Guild