Meet Your New Best Friend in College, an Editor

Red markings covering your writing don’t have to be intimidating. A simple switch in punctuation and spelling could be the difference between being acclaimed or disregarded for your work. Red corrections all over your paper may seem like the words are bleeding, but really they are just in transition to becoming a pleasant piece to read. Luckily, college campuses are abundant in editors waiting to assist you.

Finding a skilled editor is key to becoming a better writer. Reading your work out loud to find corrections is extremely helpful, but it doesn’t catch everything. As the writer, you know what thoughts and words come next in the sentence. A fresh pair of eyes don’t know what’s coming next. Not only that, but they come equipped with new ideas that never crossed your mind that could potentially better your argument.

The hump to get over is letting an outsider delve into something as personal as your own writing. Writing can seem private and sacred to a writer. However, writing is useless unless it is shared with the world. If you can’t let an editor into your writing mind, then your audience won’t be let in, either. To become a little better acquainted with editors, and to make them seem a little less scary, red print will be incorporated in the rest of this article to show where these marvelous writers can be found.

  • The Person at the Front of the Room

Professors aren’t always going to be like Indiana Jones, but each one has knowledge to offer. Most professors keep office hours for their students. They don’t offer this time for nothing. Take advantage of it. While a professor usually doesn’t have time to go through your paper step by step or in great detail, a professor can tell you if you’re on the right track. There’s not much worse than finishing a paper, only to realize you never actually answered the prompt. Swallow your pride and visit your professor. Their help will make the content of your paper stronger, earning you a better grade.

  • The Professor’s Sidekick

Teaching Assistants, better known as TAs, are like gateways into a professor’s mind. The TA actually has the time to help you go through your paper. Paragraph structure and thesis development are cleared up a helpful TA. Like the professor, TAs have office hours to help you go through a paper. What’s beneficial about going to a professor or TA is that these aids provide help directly related to the content and topic of the paper. Any other outside reader doesn’t know exactly what the professor is looking for. It’s like having the golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. You have the pass to a magical “A” paper.

  • In the Land of Books

Campus libraries often offer sessions where librarians or specialized editors will help you edit a paper. Or if you’re in a literary or writing class, there are usually writing workshops where you can go to edit and rewrite your paper before the final due date. These people enjoy editing. Seeing your paper will bring them great happiness. Having someone correct your paper will also bring you great happiness. A smile spreads across your face as big as when you reach into a box of your favorite candy and find two pieces clumped together. It’s a win-win. Just remember that they aren’t going to just give you the correct answers. It’s not a cheat sheet. Instead, they’ll show you the corrections so you can learn from them for the next paper you write.

  • BFFE: Best Friends Forever Editing

There’s an editor staring you straight in the eyes. That’s right, your friend is an editor. While they are not professionally trained, they can still offer help to improve your writing. Friends can help you keep your young voice, as your buddy probably writes in a ways similar to yours. However, a friend may not be willing to help you for free. After all, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Even Chipotle makes you dress up in tin foil for a free burrito. Treat your friend to a meal or movie once in a while as an incentive to keep helping you out in a time of writing need.

  • You’ll Never Outgrow Needing Your Mom

Ask a family member to edit your writing. These people don’t need an incentive of a meal or movie to help you out. All you have to do is play the we’re-blood-related card. I would not be the writer I am today without my mom. She is my go to editor, helping me grow as a writer as I pursue my journalism degree. Actually, she helped with this article. If there’s one concept I’ve learned from her, it’s that behind every great writer is a fantastic editor. Simply, writing can’t exist without editing.

  • Concision, Concision, Concision

 In college, concision is key. In the title for this section, I actually broke the rule of concision, which is to be short and sweet in your writing. Be the snack size of your favorite candy bar, rather than the king size. When writing, words quickly become fluff. Editors take out the fluff. They get down to the nitty gritty to help convey your ideas to the reader. An editor is your new best friend.

See? Red isn’t so terrifying. Go forth and find your editor!

Related Posts

The following two tabs change content below.
Rebecca Jacobs

Rebecca Jacobs

Rebecca Jacobs is a sophomore at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, pursuing a News-Editorial Journalism degree. An avid bookworm, Rebecca reads all texts Ray Bradbury and Kurt Vonnegut when she’s not busy writing for The Black Sheep on campus. Back home, she spends a vast amount of time enjoying nature with loved ones.