Portfolio – Editing

Over the course of my education and career, I have discovered that editing is my true passion. I am comfortable editing at all levels (from simple proofreading to document-level comprehensive editing) in any medium (electronic or on paper).

I am familiar with and have used most major style guides as well as proprietary and in-house guides and formats. I have particular experience with Chicago, Modern Language Association (MLA), Associated Press (AP), American Psychological Association (APA), and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Finally, I have been involved in the creation and maintenance of in-house style guides and templates for a number of projects.
The examples that follow showcase my editing style on paper and electronically (using Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature).

Electronic

Policies and Procedures Training Document

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In my capacity as a Policies and Procedures Editor for New Mexico Tech, I worked with a number of accounting documents. This document is an edit I performed using Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature. The document an excerpt from a preexisting accounting manual used by the institution’s Restricted Funds Department. This excerpt showcases my electronic editing style. It shows basic copy editing and proofreading as well as adjusting language for clarity, accuracy, and concision; querying; and addressing overall structural issues.

I used this particular document to train my successor. I edited a document the way I normally would; however, I left in-line comments to explain why I made certain changes and show her instances where I would query the author. This served to illustrate the level of editing we were looking for, specific instances where our style took precedence, and common pitfalls she would encounter in these documents.

This document needed editing because the department’s manuals were undergoing a federal audit. The style and format were a collaboration by me, a fellow student worker, and our faculty advisor. I helped maintain the style guide throughout my two years working in this capacity, passing it on to my successor once I graduated.

The accounting documents were challenging because the subject matter was largely unfamiliar to me, but familiar to the main audience: accountants and federal auditors. As a result, I made many queries to ask what something meant or whether it warranted more explanation, only to be told that the accountants and auditors would understand it, even if I didn’t.  This concept was relatively comfortable for me, as technical editing often involves working with documents thick with concepts I might not entirely understand.

ALMA Module Assembly Document

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*Although the Word version of this document is huge (~13 MB), Word’s tracking/viewing options make this format more useful for analyzing the changes made.

This assembly manual was written by an ALMA engineer for other ALMA engineers who will assemble the module at other sites. I had relatively little freedom to modify the document. For example, I couldn’t change the images or order of the steps; I could only point out when errors or typos were present within them. Therefore, my work on this document was limited to copy editing as well as some substantive editing at the single-step level. I was able to reword steps to make them more logical and easier to follow, as well as rearrange and rewrite the sub-steps within each, as necessary. Finally, I also performed minor fact checking–such as making sure the components and their manufacturers were spelled right, checking item quantities, and the like–and acronym wrangling.

If I’d had more control over the document, I would have changed the text on many of the photos (for instance, “Fasteners”) and compressed them so that the overall file size is much more manageable.

The version reproduced here (with permission) is the last draft before the final released version. I chose to display this version because it still has all of my queries to the original author.

On Paper

These pages contain scans of a grant application I edited on paper while I was an intern at the Socorro County Chamber of Commerce. In addition to performing basic proofreading, I also pointed out missing information that the application questions requested but went unaddressed the writer in the original draft.

Although I know and am comfortable using conventional markup, the writer was largely unfamiliar with conventional proofreading marks. For this reason, I used some unconventional markup to make the edits more understandable for him.

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