Why Editing Makes You a Smarter Person

Elizabeth Reyn
Why Editing Makes You a Smarter Person

Editing seems as simple as moving around a few commas and changing words to make a sentence sound better. But if editing was that simple, people wouldn’t even need to do that job. Just plug something into Microsoft Word or use a spellcheck service on Google to be both a proofreader and a thesaurus.

There’s more to editing than just making some marks or fixing a grammatically incorrect sentence. Editors are hired to make sure each word flows fluidly in a professional manner. Aside from copyeditors, businesses can implement editors for help with the form, structure, and layout of the website.

On the downside, you may choose not to hire an editor for your business due to budgetary constraints. Especially in a business that requires a lot of writing projects, editing can turn into a full-time job, which becomes costly. Also, companies that choose to outsource their editing worry about the inconvenience of time differences and sometimes face the inability to talk to outsourcers during regular work hours. This may require more added work and faces the risk of creating unnecessary stress for employers who have deadlines on projects.

But you don’t need an English degree to become your own editor. You just have to be fluid in the English language and possess some knowledge in constructing strong sentences. This is a skill most aptly taught in college. And if you didn’t go to college, no need to worry. Just use Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style to get you started. It is a handbook on grammar rules and mastering the inticacies and complexity of the English language.

More often than not, businesses rely on writing for web content, sending out emails to clients, writing descriptions for pictures, blogging, etc. It is important to note that bad writing will harm your business reputation. If the content is written poorly and sloppily placed on the website, visitors who land on your website will denounce it as unprofessional and unreliable, and will therefore choose not to stay on the page.

Do yourself and your business a favor. Edit and revise. Make sure that no period goes missing at the end of the sentence. Place commas accordingly. Don’t force-feed your readers run-on sentences that can’t be swallowed in one gulp. You can edit by reading anything you need to send aloud to co-workers, who can help you by telling you if something sounds off or should be changed. Polish everything up to sound professional and true to your business.

In addition to improving your business practices, the ability to edit will also help you in life. Need to write a birthday card to a family member and fix it to sound eloquent and meaningful? What about looking over an essay that you’ve been working on to get into graduate school? You can send this work out to others, but editing is a skill that is valued and used for life. So if you haven’t yet, pick up The Elements of Style, learn those grammar rules, and make your work sound great.