Document polishing is the process of bringing mature technical documents up to the highest standards of presentation. It involves enhancing the structure, repairing the faults, improving the clarity and adding the finishing touches.
The goal of polishing is to ensure the document is correct in all aspects. The polishing stage involves a careful and attentive eye for detail. It can require close collaboration with the authors of the document, the client and (subject to the wishes of the client) the end-users.
Component parts Clarification. The clarity of the document depends on its overall structure as well as the contents of each section
Formatting. The appropriate choice of font, heading styles and table design are problematical areas
Readability adjustment. The Flesch-Kincaid score must be suitable for the readership
Choice of style. The level of formality of the language used in a document depends on its purpose – from legal documents through to product fliers
Correction of grammar, syntax, spelling and punctuation. Distinctions must be drawn between US and British English
Proofreading. This will pick up repetitions, inconsistencies and omissions
Printing, binding and despatch
Document polishing includes the following activities:
Who will benefit?
Document polishing is of particular value to technical authors whose first language is other than English. It is extremely difficult for a non-native speaker to negotiate their way around English syntax, grammar, spelling and idiom. The misunderstandings that arise from incorrect and unclear use of English take time and can be expensive to rectify within the parameters of an existing contract.
Another large group of beneficiaries is authors unfamiliar with the use of Microsoft Word. Such people waste much time formatting and reformatting text, designing styles and tables, cutting and pasting – the cost of which is not reflected in the results.
The service will benefit everyone who is concerned to ensure that their delivered documents make the best possible impression on the reader.