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Editing Manual for Dateliners

Whether you are a writer or editor, editing is a very important part of journalistic writing.

Editing is more than correcting things like grammatical errors and AP Style slip ups. While editing, you should strive to make your article as concise and clear as possible by removing unnecessary words like modifiers, jargon, and filler words, for example. Ensure that each sentence and paragraph serve a purpose. All your elements should contribute to telling your points in the most logical order and in a narrative, engaging way.

Tips for overall resources for when you edit your stories


  • Edit for third-person point of view. Remove first-person, no second person. 
  • Stories about the coverage of an UHD event should be written in the past tense.  
    • When writing stories to spotlight faculty, students, and staff, use of verbs in the present tense make sense.  
    • Be mindful of switching between verb tenses. If you are switching from past tense to present, it must fulfill a purpose. 
  • Always abbreviate University of Houston-Downtown as UHD unless part of direct quotation. 
  • Check on the UHD website to verify UHD rooms, buildings, departments etc. are named appropriately. Capitalize proper nouns. 
  • Omit academic credentials when irrelevant. Keep an academic credential when editing stories for the columns Staff Spotlight, Faculty Spotlight, and Student Organization spotlight.  
  • Put occupation title before the person’s name and capitalize the occupation title. 
  • Remove Dr. for professors or other individuals who hold a non-medical doctorate degree. The preferred form is to follow the person’s name with a description of their doctorate degree.  
    • Ex. Joe Sample, who holds a doctorate in English, is The Dateline’s faculty adviser.  
  • Lowercase majors. When degrees are relevant, remember that AP style prefers associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctorate. 
    • Ex. The Dateline Editor Indira Zaldivar pursues a master’s degree in technical communication at UHD. ​


  • Edit for third-person point of view. Remove first-person, no second person. 
  • Change all verb tenses to past tense. Follow quotes by “said” in past tense.  
  • Take the time to fact-check. 
  • Verify that quotes have been attributed properly. If you find that a quote was obtained from another media outlet, remember to add “told media outlet name” after the first sentence of the quote (after quotation marks).  
  • Put occupation title before the person’s name and capitalize the occupation title.  
  • You’ll probably use these pages frequently to correct for AP style 


  • Edit for third-person point of view. Second-person use is okay in reviews but keep it to a minimum. 
  • When quoting from composition such as songs, books, use says in present tense.  
  • Remove details from a review that give the plot away.  
  • Put actors name in parentheses after the character’s name.  
    • Example: Rose (Kate Winslet) falls in love with Jack (Leonardo Dicaprio). 
  • Remember that composition titles go in quotation marks. However, use single quotation marks around composition titles in headlines.  
    • Example: The 2009 film "Avatar" is the most commercially successful movie of all time, with a revenue of $2.85 billion at the global box office. 
  • Abbreviate the word “number” when followed by a numeral that correlates with a placing or ranking.  
    • Ex. “Encanto” is No. 1 for a seventh week. ​

  • All points of view (first, second, and third) may be used. Keep in mind that most statements are stronger when changing them from first person to third person. Exceptions include when a writer narrates their personal experiences.  
  • Remove filler words such as “I think” “I feel” from sentences. 
    • Wrong: I think proposition B will benefit the community.  
    • Better: Proposition B will benefit the community. 
  • Use of adjectives and adverbs get more leeway in Opinions but remove repetitive adjectives and adverbs. Vary them throughout.

  • Edit for third-person point of view. Second-person use is okay in reviews but keep it to a minimum. 
  • Change all verb tenses to past tense. Follow quotes by “said” in past tense. 
    • Ex. Spurs Coach Greg Popovich said the team is looking to draft an international player.  
    • Ex. “Our team is excited to welcome a new member,” Popovich said.  
  • Abbreviate the word “number” when followed by a numeral that correlates with standings, placing or ranking.  
    • Ex. The Houston Rockets are No. 1 in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference. ​

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Last updated 5/9/2022 9:09 AM