Are you looking for an editing job? Do you want to know which editing mistakes will automatically disqualify you from the position? Then this is an article you.
Ryan Boettger (2014) conducted a research study to try to discover what editing mistakes technical professionals involved in hiring deem most egregious on editing tests. By understanding which errors to pay particular attention to during your editing test, you will be better prepared to land that top editing job.
In his article “The Technical Communication Editing Test: Three Studies on This Assessment Type,” Ryan Boettger, from the University of North Texas, set out to discover which errors appear most frequently in editing tests and which errors bothered professionals the most. He first identified 71 error types in 55 real editing tests. In order of frequency, these types included the six broad categories of grammar and mechanics, style, punctuation, content, spelling, and design. He then recruited 176 technical communication professionals involved in hiring to take a 24-question survey that captured their perceptions of four errors within the six previously mentioned broad categories. The professionals were asked to place each editing error into three tiers: the moderately bothersome tier, the neutral/no opinion tier, and the slightly bothersome tier.
What Boettger found was truly surprising: Although incorrect word usage, spelling errors, and capitalization were the most frequent errors throughout editing tests, professionals were most bothered by apostrophe errors, problems with homonyms, and sentence fragments. The error that emerged as the most bothersome to professionals overall was “unnecessary or missing apostrophe (including its/it’s)” (220). Furthermore, Boettger discovered that there was no correlation between the frequencies and statistical distribution of the errors in the editing tests and how bothersome the professionals perceived those errors to be.
Knowing which editing errors appear most frequently in editing tests and which bother professionals the most may give you the upper hand on other job candidates. In order to get the job, make sure your editing test is flawless, preparing for the six most frequent error types found in the study. For other application materials reviewed by other professionals, avoid the three most bothersome errors: apostrophe errors, problems with homonyms, and sentence fragments. This study offers valuable insight into editing tests that already exist; however, future studies that evaluate which editing tests or alternative assessments better reflect an applicant’s skill set would be invaluable to the editing research field.
To learn more about technical communication editing tests and errors that professionals find most egregious, read the full article:
Boettger, Ryan. 2014. “The Technical Communication Editing Test: Three Studies on This Assessment Type.” Technical Communication 61 (4): 215–31. https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/stc/tc/2014/00000061/00000004/art00002.
—Taelin Wilford, Editing Research
FEATURE IMAGE BY PEXELS