Monday, 23 July 2012

Is Language Editing Really Important?

To err is human. We make mistakes - big or small - everyday. Language editing has to do with rectifying errors in a written communication. These faults range from spelling mistakes to wrong grammar use, from improper punctuation to using words out of context. This has nothing to do with a writer’s sophistication, or writing skill – even native language speakers and esteemed writers make some of these mistakes.

We write for different reasons. We may write a casual SMS or e-mail to a friend. Our friends generally make no fuss of our writing mistakes. However, an attempt should be made to get rid of writing mistakes and typing/typographical errors (typos) – this is a good foundation of professional writing. Your friends may be your business partners, and formal writing is important between business partners. Such communication may form part of the business archives. For such things as SMSs and e-mails, a simple spelling-check sofware should suffice.

Writing may be for formal reasons, to your research supervisor, for example. This may be for your progress reports, theses, dissertations, etc. Professionals are very strict when it comes to presenting your findings. They want them conveyed in the most comprehensive manner possible. It is disturbing to read a document that has so many writing errors that it makes no sense. Your superior should correct your points about the findings and the overall presentation, without the interference of a lot of mistakes in every paragraph.

After reading through an annoyingly, poorly written research report by a fellow postgraduate student, my former supervisor asked me, “What does this tell you about the attitude of this student?”. I did not answer directly, out of sympathy for my fellow student. I tried to justify what caused the student to make the mistakes he did. But I knew what the supervisor wanted me to say: The student did not take his work seriously, and he was careless and unprofessional.

My background makes me understand very well the writing challenges second language English speakers have. The home languages of some, for instance, use only the singular auxiliary verb “is”. Some don’t understand the difference between “Price” and “Prize”, and others don’t know the nouns from some verbs as well as the past participles of those verbs. This is why I clearly understood my fellow student’s case.

There is no valid excuse for any poor writing though, for professional and academic documents in particular. If you are like a large number of second language speakers, there are plenty of language editors. It’s advisable to select a person with the relevant background in the kind of writing for which you need editing. Thus, you get the benefit of proofreading, which is the process of checking the layout of the entire document and other finer details.

Make sure that you go for the best language editor, not the cheapest.

Remember      Even editors need editors for their professional writing.
                                The quality of your writing can say a lot about you, including
                                your attitude towards the language of interest.


Zero027 Research is one of the finest English editors and report writers in the world, specializing in academic and technical reports. We don’t only edit the document, but also ensure that the quality of the final document is outstanding.

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