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Personal Response Paper, Prompt 1

Editing for Everyone

After I selected my major, the question became what I should choose as my minor. I

wanted a minor that would complement my major, be interesting to studying, and give me useful

skills and knowledge. I considered various options and weighed their value to me for in the

present and infor the future. I decided that anyone could benefit from learning how to edit and

that this minor would be useful to me no matter what career I chose and would still be useful

even if I chose not to have a career. Regardless of my future, being able to communicate my

message in the best way possible is will be an invaluable skill for me, my colleagues, and my

employers. Choosing to make editing my minor enables me to have a meaningful career and to

pursue a dream. Commented [C1]: What is the dream? I did not see it clearly
referenced later.

I have always loved reading. I obtained got my first library card when I was three years

old, and the world opened up to me. The greatest punishment that could be handed down from

my parents was to have my books and flashlights confiscatedmy parents could give was to

confiscate my books and flashlights. As I grew up, my voracious appetite for reading never Commented [C2]: Fun detail

diminished. My taste, however, expanded and matured. In addition to the books their contents, I

became interested in the structure of the various books that I read. I began to pay more attention

to the strategies that excellent writers used. I noticed their use of language and the diction and

syntax that they crafted. I looked at the way they punctuated and examined how it helped (or

hurt) how the work as a whole fit together. I began to take notice of the work that went into the Commented [C3]: Consider rephrasing since I examined how it
helped how the work as a whole fit together sounds a little
awkward without the parenthetical statement in between. Maybe
production of books and other written materials. I realized that behind each publication was an and noticed whether it helped or hurt the cohesion of the work.

editor, pencil in hand, ready to save the world from errors and confusion. This career fascinated

me, and the more research that I did, the more that I wanted to learn.
Personal Response Paper, Prompt 1

When I shifted from researching the writing craft to researching the editing process, I

discovered how essential it is that anything published be edited, even if only superficially. When

an author goes over his or her own writing, it is very easy to miss small mistakes or to gloss over

errors. Having authors go over their own work can prevent large errors, but those who become

editors are not interested in simply fixing ghastly mistakes. As Amy Einsohn puts it in The

Copyeditors Handbook, If time and money were not an issue, copyeditors could linger over

each sentence and paragraph in a manuscript until they were wholly satisfied with its clarity,

coherency, consistency, and correctnesseven with its beauty and elegance (Einsohn 13). The Commented [C4]: This is a true quote.

clarity, the beauty of a manuscript is what fascinates me. Editing is a vital asset that assists

authors in making their writing clear, communicative, and beautiful. Authors produce the

content, but it is editors who einsure that authors meanings and intents are conveyed

successfully and, ultimately, that their writing is attractive to readers. This applies no matter

what the discipline is that the writing falls intoregardless of the writings genre. No one is

infallible, and so learning about common mistakes that impede communication is extremely

valuable. Law students need to make sure that their writing is accurate; eEngineering students

will be more valuable to employers if they can write well; eEducators will appear more

professional if their materials are error-free. Learning how to edit prevents misunderstandings

and enables authors to present beautiful writing to their readers.

Ultimately, the aim of editing is to help writers to produce the best work possible and to

do so in a way that does not make the author feel as if they have been personally attacked. As the

author of The Subversive Copy Eeditor advises, The idea of a good author-editor relationship

involves working with writers in ways that will tell you what they really want so you can help

them achieve it (Saller xvii). Learning the rules and grammar of English does not mean that one
Personal Response Paper, Prompt 1

is doomed to become fussy and hypercritical in the pursuit of editorial perfection. On the

contrary, becoming familiar with the structures of the English language allows one to help create

the best possible product, sometimes even by breaking the traditional rules. The Chicago Manual

of Style, one of the most-followed style guides in existence, contains this advice in its preface:

Rules and regulations such as these, in the nature of the case, cannot be endowed with the fixity

of rock-ribbed law. They are meant for the average case, and must be applied with a certain

degree of elasticity (Chicago xiiipreface). Saller reminds the copyeditor that oftentimes, iIts

not a matter of being correct or incorrect. Its only a matter of style (Saller xvii).

Not only have I chosen editing to be my minorthe editing minor for myself, but I would

also highly recommend it as a minor to anyone. It does not matter what field your career is in;,

you will most likely still be required to communicate your thoughts and ideas at some point.

IAnd in order to do so with clarity and professionalism, it is valuable to know at least the

rudiments of good editing. Nothing can be as damaging to an individuals or companys

reputation as a major error in a publication. On the other hand, nothing can boost an individuals

or a companys reputation like a well-written publication. Though their work goes largely

unnoticed (except for when it is poorly done), editors perform a valuable service for companies

and individual authors in all majors, disciplines, and fields of work. Commented [C5]: This is a very fun and well-written paper.
Here are a couple of things to conform to the prompt and rubric: try
to make it four pages long, and consider making the personal
examples applicable to the editing minor. I like your introduction
about how you got into the editing minor, but it does not seem to
connect smoothly with the topic for the rest of the paper.

Works Cited
Personal Response Paper, Prompt 1

Einsohn, Amy. The Copyeditor's Handbook. Berkeley: U of California, 2011. Print.

The Chicago Manual of Style. 16th ed. Chicago: U of Chicago, 2010. Print.

Saller, Carol Fisher. The Subversive Copyeditor. 2nd ed. Chicago: U of Chicago, 2016. Print.