Editing Tools: How to Use Roy Peter Clark’s ‘Writing Tools’ as an Editor

$50.00

Editing Tools: How to Use Roy Peter Clark’s ‘Writing Tools’ as an Editor

Over more than 40 years, Poynter faculty and “America’s Writing Coach” Roy Peter Clark has led countless writing lessons and helped tens of thousands of students. His book “Writing Tools” has sold more than 250,000 copies. In this course, Poynter assistant editor Kayla Randall breaks down some of Clark’s most memorable lessons and demonstrates how editors can harness their power to improve communications, messaging and even management. This course was updated in November 2023. It can be taken independently or as part of the Poynter/ACES Intermediate Certificate in Editing.

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Overview

  • This self-directed course will take about 90 minutes to complete.
  • Take this course independently or as part of the ACES Intermediate Certificate in Editing.
  • Watch “America’s Writing Coach" Roy Peter Clark in short video tutorials about writing.
  • Hear from Poynter assistant editor Kayla Randall; get her expertise as a next generation editor.
  • Learn from experts about word choice, clarity and length.
  • Consider voice, gold coins and why you should always know the name of the dog.
  • Get tips on coaching writers when setting scenes and answering questions.

$50.00

Learning Outcomes

In this course you will learn to:

  • Understand fundamental differences between reporting and storytelling.
  • Demonstrate why details make a big impact.
  • Practice precision and concision when eliminating words.
  • Employ techniques to favor the simple over the technical in storytelling.
  • Understand the pitfalls of relying on cliches.
  • Assess your voice as a writer and editor.

$50.00

Overview

  • This self-directed course will take about 90 minutes to complete.
  • Take this course independently or as part of the ACES Intermediate Certificate in Editing.
  • Watch “America’s Writing Coach" Roy Peter Clark in short video tutorials about writing.
  • Hear from Poynter assistant editor Kayla Randall; get her expertise as a next generation editor.
  • Learn from experts about word choice, clarity and length.
  • Consider voice, gold coins and why you should always know the name of the dog.
  • Get tips on coaching writers when setting scenes and answering questions.

Training five or more people?
Check out our custom training.

This course is a series of short (two- to three-minute) videos of Roy Peter Clark explaining one of his “Writing Tools.” The attendee is then asked to consider how this writing tool has useful applications to editors, both for clarifying copy and for establishing a strong bond between writer and editor.

Poynter assistant editor Kayla Randall will be your guide as you parse your way through these top tips and techniques.

This 90-minute, self-directed course will take you inside the pages of Clark’s book and shed light on some of his favorite bits of advice. You’ll put what you learn into practice with a series of activities and quizzes as you go along.

General information

This is a self-directed course; you may work through it at your own pace. It should take about 1-2 hours to finish.

This course consists of a series of videos, text lessons, and pop-up activities that test your knowledge. Activities within the course have right and wrong answers, but these activities are for practice only and will not impact your completion of the course.

To complete each course, you must pass a test at the end that consists of 10 questions. You will have 20 minutes to complete each course test once they have begun. You must answer at least eight of the 10 questions correctly to gain a score of 80% or higher to pass the course and get credit toward the certificate.

You are allowed three attempts to pass the evaluation at the end of each course.

If you are still unable to pass the evaluation with an 80% or better after three attempts, please contact our customer service department at info@poynter.org.

This course is part of the Poynter/ACES Intermediate Certificate in Editing, though it can be taken on its own, independently of the certificate. The certificate consists of seven courses, seven end-of-course tests and an overall final assessment covering material from all seven courses.

To earn the Intermediate Certificate, you must pass a final assessment at the end of all seven courses.

The certificate’s final assessment consists of 30 questions drawn from material throughout all seven courses. You will have one hour to complete this final certificate assessment and three chances to pass with an 80% or better.

If you are still unable to pass the final assessment with an 80% or better after three attempts, please contact our customer service department at info@poynter.org.

We recommend that before starting the Intermediate Certificate, you first complete the Poynter/ACEs Introductory Editing Certificate, though it is not a prerequisite.

Questions?

If you need assistance, email us at info@poynter.org.

This 90-minute, self-directed course will take you inside the pages of Clark’s book and shed light on some of his favorite bits of advice. You’ll put what you learn into practice with a series of activities and quizzes as you go along.

The course outline is as follows:

Introduction
Lesson 1: Cut Big, Then Small
Lesson 2: Prefer the Simple Over the Technical
Lesson 3: Learn the Difference Between Reports and Stories
Lesson 4: Don’t Be Afraid to Mix Reports and Stories
Lesson 5: Get the Name of the Dog
Lesson 6: Seek Original Images
Lesson 7: Tune Your Voice
Lesson 8: Place Gold Coins Along the Path
Lesson 9: Limit Self-Criticism in Early Drafts
Lesson 10: Build Your Work Around a Key Question
Lesson 11: Report and Write for Scenes
Conclusion
Editing Tools assessment

Who should enroll

This course is designed for anyone who wants to become a better editor of words — their own, or someone else’s.

There are no prerequisites for this course. We recommend, however, that if you are taking this course as part of the ACES Intermediate Certificate in Editing, that you first complete the Poynter/ACES Introductory Certificate in Editing.

Once you enroll in this online course, you can start any time and take the lessons on your own schedule.

 

Instructors

  • Roy Peter Clark
    Senior Scholar, Poynter
    Roy Peter Clark is known as America’s writing coach, devoted to creating a nation of writers. A PhD in medieval literature, he is widely considered...
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  • Kayla Randall
    Assistant Editor
    Kayla Randall is an assistant editor at The Poynter Institute and an editorial specialist at NPR. She focuses on journalism ethics and standards and media...
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