Editing available for EA Forum drafts

Hello, Fo­rum! This is Aaron, your friendly neigh­bor­hood mod­er­a­tor (and a con­tent writer/​ed­i­tor at CEA).

I’m writ­ing this to let you know that I offer a free ser­vice as part of my work for CEA: If you want some­one to look over your Fo­rum post be­fore you pub­lish it, I will gladly do that.

(I’ve been do­ing this since the Fo­rum got started, but I’ve since been ad­vised that tel­ling ev­ery­one at once would be bet­ter than tel­ling peo­ple one at a time in pri­vate con­ver­sa­tions. Go figure.)

My goal is to help peo­ple who are un­cer­tain about an idea or draft by get­ting them to a point where they feel com­fortable pub­lish­ing a post. That said, you’re always wel­come to run things by me even if you’re already sure you want to pub­lish them!

Ser­vices I offer

  • Com­ment­ing on an idea that hasn’t yet been writ­ten up, to sug­gest di­rec­tions you could take or ma­te­rial you might want to read be­fore you write a draft.

  • Mak­ing broad sug­ges­tions about ma­jor changes you could make, or pieces on re­lated top­ics that I’d be ex­cited to see.

  • Mak­ing minor sug­ges­tions about points or sen­tences that I found un­clear.

    • I usu­ally won’t have time to run a full edit, but I may note ty­pos that I hap­pen to see.

  • Send­ing your draft to other peo­ple who know more about the topic than I do, or oth­er­wise seem like they’d give use­ful feed­back.

    • I’ll ask for per­mis­sion be­fore I do this.

How to get help

  1. Email me a doc­u­ment with a draft of your post.

    1. Not a shared draft on the Fo­rum, please — a Google or Word doc­u­ment, or a doc­u­ment in some other for­mat that al­lows me to make sug­ges­tions.

  2. Let me know when you need to hear back by.

    1. Even if there’s no rush, it helps me to have a fake dead­line I can add to my task-track­ing sys­tem, so some­thing like “two weeks from to­day, but you can ex­tend that if you need to” is bet­ter than “when­ever”.

    2. If I doubt the dead­line will work with my sched­ule, I may say some­thing like “it’s more likely than not that I won’t get to this”.

  3. Tell me what kind of feed­back you want. For ex­am­ple:

    1. “I’m ner­vous that this post might be an in­fo­haz­ard. Whom should I con­sult about that?”

    2. “I’m new to effec­tive al­tru­ism, and I’m wor­ried that I’m say­ing some­thing ob­vi­ous that will bore or an­noy peo­ple who have more ex­pe­rience. Do you know of other posts that cover the same points?”

    3. “I’m not sure whether this post be­longs on the EA Fo­rum at all. What do you think?”

    4. “I think this post is al­most perfect, and I’m not look­ing to make ma­jor changes, but I’d still like feed­back on para­graphs #4 and #5.”

I’ve already done this for many Fo­rum users, in­clud­ing peo­ple who’d never posted be­fore and peo­ple who have thou­sands of karma. I’m not the world’s great­est ed­i­tor, but I’ve writ­ten and ed­ited a lot of things for money over the years, and I spend a lot of time think­ing about how to com­mu­ni­cate EA ideas.

Bonus: There is a Face­book group for peo­ple who want sug­ges­tions on EA writ­ing — whether or not it’s re­lated to the Fo­rum. I’ve spo­ken to mul­ti­ple peo­ple in the last month who have sub­stan­tial pro­fes­sional edit­ing ex­pe­rience and re­ally want to see more con­tent ap­pear in that group. Go forth and pub­lish!