"First, I do a quick reading of the document so that way I can get a general gist of the piece. That way I know what to expect in terms of style, pacing, and structure. On this first pass, I'll take any quick notes that come to mind immediately, but I don't pause to do any deep thinking until later.
Then I do a section-by-section reading. I start with the first paragraph and then read the last one to understand what the writer is trying to accomplish. I work backwards from the goal and see if the rest of the writing supports that goal. Next, I..."
"A lot of writers are sensitive, which is understandable because they often put their heart and soul into it and they're doing the very best that they can. As an editor, I might be making tiny little edits on grammar and punctuation, which the writer might see as a slight. So I need to acknowledge their good work and the efforts they make. I might not have time to talk about every little edit, so I'll ask them to write down all their concerns so that we can have a meeting where we can talk about the newspaper's expectations and guidelines. That way we can meet the deadline and the writer still gets to be heard and understood."