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WritersDomain editing tiers explanation.


Page 1: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

WritersDomain.netReview tiers

Page 2: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Does the article pass the tier 1 checklist?


Does the article pass the tier 2 checklist?

Does the article pass the tier 3 checklist?

Does the article pass the tier 4 checklist?

Approve at 5 stars

Send back at one star

Send back at two stars

Approve at 3 stars

Approve at 4 stars








Page 3: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 1 To complete Tier 1, the editors will check to see if the

controlling idea, title, and supporting headlines are worthy of

being read. They will ask if the title makes sense, and whether

or not it carries a basic interest value.

The editors will also pay close attention to the substance

(ideas, supporting evidence, logic) found in the article. Issues

concerning substance revolve around the use of inane material

to fill word count and/or grammatical errors which interrupt

the general readability of the article.

If any of the following issues are found, the editors will send

the article back for revision.

Page 4: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 1 checklist 1.1 Controlling Idea

1.1.1 Is the controlling idea present in the first paragraph?

1.1.2 Is the controlling idea engaging, useful, and industry-relevant?

1.1.3 Does the controlling idea communicate the purpose and value of the


1.2 Title

1.2.1 Does the title reflect the controlling idea?

1.2.2 Does the title illustrate how the article will impact or benefit the reader?

1.2.3 Is the title grammatically and structurally sound?

1.3 Headings/First Sentences

1.3.1 Are headings in logical order?

1.3.2 Do headings logically follow from the title?

1.4 Formatting

1.4.1 At first glance, are big blocks of text broken up with headers and

paragraph breaks?

1.4.2 Is textual formatting (bolding, italics, etc.) used appropriately?

Page 5: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 1 checklist 1.5 Filler/Fluff

1.5.1 Is the article generally free of redundant ideas and sentences?

1.5.2 Is the article largely free of unnecessary or irrelevant ideas?

1.5.3 Is the article mostly free of generalities and/or absolutes?

1.5.4 Does the article leave the reader feeling capable, informed, or

excited through strong, detailed information, rather than filler

expressions of encouragement and overhyping?

1.6 Citations

1.6.1 Are hyperlinks reader-friendly?

1.6.2 Are the hyperlinks relevant to the article? Do they support the

claims they're linked to?

1.7 Sentence structure:

1.7.1 Are sentences basically comprehensible?

1.8 Proofreading

1.8.1 At first glance, are there trends of grammar or spelling mistakes

that interrupt the flow of reading for an average web reader?

Page 6: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 1 stock comments 1.1 Controlling idea:

1.1.1 Web readers look for articles that get right to the point. For

this reason, it’s important to include your controlling idea within

the first paragraph.

1.1.2 Our goal is to provide content that is engaging, helpful, and

useful to the reader. In order to fulfill that goal, we recommend . . .

1.1.3 The purpose/value of this article is unclear. Focus on a

specific need of your target demographic and ask yourself why

someone would choose your article over another. Check out the

WritersDomain blog for more information.

Page 7: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 1 stock comments 1.2 Title:

1.2.1 The article's title, “. . ." does not line up with the content,

which primarily addresses . . .

1.2.2 Remember, the reader's first impression of your article (and

whether or not they decide to read on) is based largely on your

title. The title should be able to answer the reader's question,

"What will I gain out of reading this?" Your title, “. . .” doesn't

contain enough of a promise about what the article entails.

1.2.3 Your title, "," contains grammatical/structural errors, such as .

. . Please proofread before resubmitting.

Page 8: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 1 stock comments 1.3 Headings/1st sentences:

1.3.1 Please pay attention to the organization of your article.

Currently, the headings appear to be out of order. A better

sequence might be “. . ."

1.3.2 Be sure to utilize headings that are descriptive enough to

give the reader an idea of what the following section will cover and

how it relates to the controlling idea.

1.4 Formatting:

1.4.1 Blocks of text are intimidating to many readers—visual breaks

help the reader both move through the text and understand it.

Please give your article more breaks by using paragraphs, headers,

and other formatting elements.

1.4.2 Overusing italics and bolding in running text or misusing other

textual formatting can be distracting to readers and decrease

readability. Use sparingly. One example in this piece is “. . ."

Page 9: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 1 stock comments 1.5 Filler/fluff:

1.5.1 Redundant ideas weaken the credibility of an article. One

example of redundancy in this article is “. . ."

1.5.2 Tangents and irrelevancies weaken an article because they

stray away from the controlling idea and may waste a reader's time.

One example of a tangential idea within the article is “. . .”

1.5.3 This article contains some generalities that are unuseful to

readers, specifically: “. . .”

1.5.4 Articles should rely on the strength of their information to

impact the reader—not on expressions of encouragement and

overhyped language. Sentences like “. . ." can weaken a piece and

frustrate readers.

Page 10: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 1 stock comments 1.6 Citations:

1.6.1 Hyperlinks should be used to give additional resources to your

readers. That means that the linked sites should be reader-friendly

and easy to navigate. Sources like _____, that are dense or hard to

navigate, don't offer readers as much useable information as they

could. For tips on making the most of hyperlinks, check out the

WritersDomain blog.

1.6.2 Citations should support the information that they're linked

to. The link _____ seems to offer information that isn't relevant to

or contradicts the ideas in this piece, specifically, ". . ." Please

revise to include relevant, supportive links for the given


Page 11: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 1 stock comments 1.7 Sentence structure:

1.7.1 Sentences like “. . ." are difficult to follow. Make sure that

each sentence clearly and completely expresses the idea you are

trying to convey. Reading the piece aloud might be helpful for

catching similar issues.

1.8 Proofread:

1.8.1 This article contains several noticeable grammatical errors,

misspellings, and/or typos. For example, ". . ." Be sure to

thoroughly proofread for similar errors before resubmitting.

Page 12: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 1 examples:

Controlling ideas/titles

Title: Why You Shouldn’t Flush Too Much Toilet Paper Down the


This answer to this query is, for the most part, pretty common

knowledge. If the writer uses the article to address more than

just toilet paper, then the title should accommodate it (i.e.

“What You Can and Can’t Flush Down the Toilet” or “Toilet

Clogs: Where they Happen, How to Fix Them”). Based on the

current title, the writer has restricted himself and will have a

hard time meeting the word count because he has narrowed

his scope too much.

Page 13: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 1 examples:

Controlling ideas/titles

Title: What the Benefits of Curtains Are


You can save on your heating bill

You can decorate your room with them

You can have some privacy

Besides being oddly phrased (which dings the authority), the

use value in this article is almost non-existent—what questions

will this article answer with any depth, what real value does it

have? The facts and logic are so elementary that they are

unhelpful—and the reader gets the feeling that this writer just

sat down and thought of all the reasons that drapes could be

beneficial. This writer has not really thought about the readers

on the other end. If the writer had completed more research to

get deeper into just one facet of this article, she would most

likely have created a more engaging title, had more substance

to work with, and approached it from a more useful angle.

Page 14: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 1 examples:

Controlling ideas/titles

Title: How to Find a Mining Lawyer in Kamloops


Use the Internet

Ask Around

Make Sure They’re Certified

Articles that address how a certain service can be found and tested

are normally unhelpful to the reader because they degenerate very

quickly into a common sense mad lib-- with information that could

apply to multiple services and categories. If you take this angle (or

another one like it), the information needs to be extremely

specific and use authority and actual insight to really answer the

questions that the reader would have.

Page 15: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 1 examples:

Controlling ideas/titles

Title: Dogs and Cats

This article title is too broad and doesn’t explain the

relationship between the two parts of the article. Will the

article explain how to successfully keep both as pets? Is the

article going to explain the differences between training both

of the animals? Or will it expound on the genetic and

developmental differences between the two? We don’t know

the purpose of the article from looking at the title.

See our blog posts on ideation for more information about

controlling ideas and titles.

Page 16: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 1 examples: Filler/fluff The terms “filler” and “fluff” refer to any tactics used which

try to overtly “pad” the article without enhancing the article’s

purpose, substance, or clarity. This includes sentences,

commentary, and phrasing that don’t really enhance the user’s


While some assumptions and generalizations can made by the

writer for the purposes of establishing common ground with

the reader, these tactics, when overused, will actually injure

the writer’s authority and the article’s value.

If you begin writing without doing any research on the issues

surrounding it, chances are you will end up writing filler/fluff.

Examples are on the following slides:

Page 17: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 1 examples: Filler/fluff Redundant:

“Definitely have your ducts checked out if you think that they’re

clogged. If they’re clogged, then they’ll impede your ability to

breathe. Breathe better by having them checked out”

Irrelevant and unnecessary:

“The internet has become an incredible place for people to go

who are looking for things they want to find. And if you’re in a

situation where you need your ducts cleaned, it’s a place you can

go to find someone who can check them out for you. Be extra

careful with your ducts.”

Page 18: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 1 examples: Filler/fluff General and absolute:

“The duct cleaner you call will have plenty of experience and

knowledge on what his deals are and how you can get you the most

bang for your buck. The best thing about going to a cleaner is that

they are a professional and will know exactly what they are doing

when they look into their ducts. You won’t even have to get your

screwdriver out.”

Overkill of emotion and sentimentality:

“Your family is the most important thing to you in your life. Can

you imagine what you would do if you found out that one of them

had contracted mold poisoning because you never had your ducts

checked? Besides trips to the hospital, you would be beside

yourself with grief, knowing that your lack of attention to a simple

problem had caused such tragedy. Take responsibility for those you

love and get your ducts checked today.”

Page 19: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 1 examples: Readability

and proofreading

Basic Readability

Watch for dense sentences that hinder readability:

“The expectation that chairs made from high-quality frames and that are

wood-constructed will perform better is wise.”


We are serious about proofreading and hope that by now, you are too.

It’s very easy to quickly review what you have written and catch missing

words, inaccurate punctuation, and homophones. If we see that your

piece has more than a few obvious errors, we will send it back.

Page 20: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 2 checklistThis tier ensures that the article is basically useful, easy-to-read,

and easy-to-understand.

2.1 Basic Use Value

2.1.1 Is the sum of the information helpful and interesting?

2.2 Mid-level Organization

2.2.1 Is information in each section relevant to and supportive of

its heading?

2.2.2 If the article presents a series of items, does information in

each section follow in the proper order?

2.3 Sentence Flow

2.3.1 Are sentences easy-to-read and easy-to-understand, and can

a reader easily transition between sentences?

2.4 Diction

2.4.1 Does the article use conventional, grammatically correct, and

easy-to-understand language?

Page 21: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 2 stock comments 2.1 Basic use value:

2.1.1 An abundance of surface-level information—information that

can be easily found with a quick Google search or through everyday

life experience—is not useful or interesting for readers. Your article

includes some surface-level ideas, such as “. . .“

2.2 Mid-level organization:

2.2.1 Just as the article's title should reflect the body content,

each subheading should reflect its corresponding information. For

example, it isn't clear how the subheading “. . ." relates to its

corresponding content, which primarily addresses . . .

2.2.2 The information under the subheading ______ is not in an

easy-to-follow order. Please revise and reorganize.

Page 22: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 2 stock comments 2.3 Sentence flow:

2.3.1 Sentences that are not easy to read or easy to understand

make the reader's job harder and reduce the readability of the

article as a whole. Here is one example of an unclear sentence

from your article: “. . .”

2.4 Diction:

2.4.1 Readers have an easier time understanding writing that is

clear and conversational. Sentences with atypical syntax or diction,

such as “. . ." can interrupt the overall flow and make it more

difficult for your readers to follow. Please revise with this in mind.

Page 23: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 2 examplesEditors may not specifically name the problems affecting the

readability of each sentence (i.e. “watch your dangling modifiers”),

but will give examples of troubled sentences within your piece.

They will send the article back for revision for dense and hard-to-

read sentences.

“Paint that is created from lead which smells are usually the

more permanent paints.”

This sentence needs to be revised for clarity and flow.

“Lighthouse Park serves West Vancouver residents and visitors

looking for native wildlife and scenic views as well as kayaking

and whale-watching tours. Visitors to West Vancouver can stay

in a number of hotels along the coast during their stay. Airports

can easily be reached from anywhere in the city.”

The issues in this example are more subtle--lack of parallelism in

verbs, lack of flow and structure between sentences--but still

illustrate problems editors will check for when assessing an article in

the second tier.

Page 24: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 2 examples “The quality found in customized coats will look better longer,

and that it will be resistant to the influences that might normally

pose a threat, such as holes and wear caused by fabric-eating


This sentence is trying to express a worthy idea but the lack of

structure makes it too hard for a web reader to extract.

“The first thing you’ll notice when you check your lawn mower

after an accident is the smells. You are going to see parts that

are bent and buzzing, and you want to see a list of how much

repairs are going to cost.”

Besides not meeting some other checks in tier 2, this sentence also

demonstrates some problems with diction—the choice and use of

words and phrases in writing. Because it doesn’t use conventional

language patterns, it sounds foreign and throws the reader off.

Page 25: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 3 This level isn’t required, but is icing on the cake for writers

who have gone the extra mile in their writing from the

beginning of their article.

The main feature this tier addresses is engagement—upon

reading, the reader is compelled to keep reading, is fully

involved with the content, enjoys themselves while reading,

and feels satisfied by the experience afterwards.

While these qualities can be hard to qualify, the checks on the

next slide represent some features from of this level of


Page 26: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 3 checklist 3.1 Engagement

3.1.1 Does the controlling idea have an above average interest


3.1.2 Does the article use concrete, specific, and interesting

examples and points in supporting the controlling idea and


3.1.3 Are sentences varied in length and structured enough to keep

the piece interesting?

3.2 Overarching Organization

3.2.1 Do ideas and thoughts flow well together within and between


3.3 Audience

3.3.1 Does the piece clearly address its target audience?

3.3.2 Does the tone and terminology used align with the person

being targeted?

Page 27: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 3 stock comments 3.1 Engagement:

3.1.1 When considering the compelling nature of an idea, ask

yourself questions like, "Is it trending?" "Is it interesting?" "Does the

piece take a new or unique angle?" or "Does it help solve a relevant

and specific problem?" Controlling ideas that fulfill one or more of

these criteria tend to be inherently more engaging. Visit the

WritersDomain Ideation Training for more information.

3.1.2 To raise the engagement factor of future pieces, work to

incorporate more specific information and details. For example,

instead of saying “. . ." explain to the readers that _____. The

more specific a piece is, the more actionable and engaging it will


3.1.3 When sentences and paragraphs are varied in

length/structure, the piece is more interesting and has better flow.

In this article . . .

Page 28: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 3 stock comments 3.2 Overarching Organization:

3.2.1 Disjointed sentences, paragraphs, or ideas, such as “. . .”,

can trip a reader up. For higher ratings in the future, make sure

that each piece has a smooth and logical flow.

3.3 Audience:

3.3.1 Articles that thoroughly and succinctly address the needs of

their target audience generally elicit a higher degree of reader

engagement. In future pieces, try to really hone in on a specific

audience and preemptively address any questions or concerns they

might have.

3.3.2 Audiences respond best when the tone of the article is

tailored to them. For higher scores on future pieces, make sure

that word choice matches the audience's level of understanding.

For example . . .

Page 29: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 4 checklist This tier is reserved for articles that meet a very high standard

of excellence and receive an audible, all-around “wow!”


4.1 Excellence

4.1.1 Does the piece take a new or unique angle?

4.1.2 Is the article grammatically perfect?

4.1.3 Does the writer qualify their expertise?

Page 30: WritersDomain Editing Tiers

Tier 4 stock comments 4.1 Excellence:

4.1.1 Articles that take a new angle or offer unique information are

inherently more useful and interesting. Sources like

ubersuggest.org and the WritersDomain blog can help guide you in

more unique directions.

4.1.2 For an article to receive a 5-star rating, it must be

grammatically perfect. While small, the following grammatical

errors were found: _______. Be sure to thoroughly proofread

before submitting your work.

4.1.3 To qualify for a 5-star rating, we're looking for a writer to

qualify their expertise in a specific subject. In the future, try. . .