When you take a course in editor training, you will develop a range of skills. You’ll practice proofreading, discover the details of formatting, learn English grammar, and revisit the rules of punctuation.
You will also learn some tips and tricks to help you understand if editing as a career is the right path for you.
Here are just a few of the insider hacks you’ll pick up in editor training.
Editor training will teach you the following skills, and more
1. Find hidden errors
Editing involves checking a document for typos and spelling mistakes as well as consistency in punctuation, abbreviations, and numbering. To find errors and inconsistencies, the editor has to read over every word of the text carefully.
However, the errors might be somewhere other than the text.
Conscientious editors also look at the margins to make sure the text is lined up consistently throughout the document. They check bulleted lists to see if they are parallel and are correctly punctuated. And, as unlikely as it may sound, it is also very natural to skip over titles and subheadings. Editors have to be aware of this and double-check every heading at every level.
Double checking is an important part of every editor’s work anyway since it is also easy to introduce errors when editing. These have to be weeded out with a second and sometimes even a third read-through.
2. Thin out the padding
During editor training, you will learn that many words in a document are unnecessary. You will learn that you can often remove words from a sentence without changing the meaning.
Look out for redundant adjectives, for example. Can you spot one in this sentence?
“He was a large giant of a man.”
The fact that the man is a giant already tells us that he’s large; we don’t need that extra adjective.
Many other pairs of words are commonly, but unnecessarily, used together: “true facts,” “fictional novel,” “final outcome.”
You will also learn about modifiers in editor training. A modifier changes the meaning of another element of the sentence.
The girl wore a very pretty dress.
In this example, the noun “dress” is modified by the adjective “pretty.” “Very” is also a modifier, but it is unnecessary. An unnecessary modifier is also known as a weak modifier. Other common examples include “really,” “quite,” and “rather.”
3. Massage delicate egos
Many people believe that editing is a lonely task. However, the job would not exist without authors, and editors often have close contact with them.
Authors can be protective of their work, and understandably so. They’ve put a lot of time, thought, and effort into their writing submission. So they don’t always appreciate it when someone cuts their weak modifiers or realigns their margins.
That’s why it is important to learn in editor training how to deal with authors. That doesn’t mean you have to lie to them or tell them they are amazing when they’re not. But you do have to be polite and clearly explain any major changes you’ve made to the text. It always helps to remember that you’re both working toward the same goal: producing logical, readable writing.
4. Follow industry standards
Should you use serial commas in every document? Should every item in a list have a period at the end? What about the spelling? Should it be American or British?
While editor training will teach you the rules of grammar, you will also learn that some rules apply only sometimes. These are style elements, and every publication has its own style guide. The guide states the preferred spelling, formatting, punctuation, and more.
Any reliable course provider will make sure your editor training covers the basics of the main industry style guides, the most important of which is probably The Chicago Manual of Style. You will learn how to work with various style guides and how to apply their particular rules to the documents you edit.
You can find excellent online editing courses from trusted, world-class professionals. You can follow the lessons at your own pace in your own home.
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