Navigating the waters of higher education can be distressing, especially if you’re afraid of water (like me). While attempting to cram a university experience into eight succinct semesters, most of us are confronted with several weighty challenges, including considering which GEs to take, which majors match our skills and interests, which skills and interests will be obsolete in ten years, etc. And then there’s minors: Do you take one? Why? Which one do you take? As if CBS and majors weren’t enough, the prospect of tacking on a minor might seem overwhelming and unnecessaryiif we return to our boat metaphor, it might seem like you‘re purposely steering right toward a mini iceberg (or rather, a minor iceberg). We’ve all had these concerns at least once in our college career, and they‘re perfectly valid. Through my own experience, however, I’ve learned that the right minor can be very beneficial to a college education, as well as a future career.
And what minor is that? The editing minor. That‘s right, grammar and stuff. But despite your major course of study—linguistics, electrical engineering, business strategyithe editing minor can equip you with a variety of marketable skills that are applicable in any job market. If there’s any course of study that teaches you how to carefully analyze and prepare another person‘s text for distribution, how to masterfully compose your own literary works (academic or otherwise), and how to take full confidence in the communication of written English generally, it’s the editing minor. Now, you might ask, “When exactly will i need to carefully analyze and prepare another person’s text for distribution?“ Well, if you’re currently in the editing minor, or if you’re pursuing a career in editing, the answer should be obvious (i.e., all the time).
But let’s say you’re thinking of declaring the minor, or that, perhaps, you only heard about editing yesterday. 15 learning how to edit still relevant? I believe 50. Let’s say your manager emails you a notice that will soon be forwarded to the rest of your coworkers. The notice says, ”Creative Writing Student Reading Series in colaboration with Inscape Release Party, Friday, May 6th , 4:30am, Room TBA,” Before your editing days, you’d most likely catch the “4:30am” instead of 4:30pm (but really 4:30 p.m.). The stranded comma might catch your eye too, but did you notice the missing I in “colaboration”? No? With a trained editorial eye, you’d be more likely to identify this kind of typo and spare your organization one more slight embarrassment, all thanks to the careful training received through the editing minor Carol Saller, an accomplished editor herself, reinforces this need to recognize potential workplace writing dilemmas.
“In the routines of almost any office job, a worker is likely to be responsible for a chunk of writing, and in any chunk of writing there is likely to be a problem. Last year, I was honored with an editorial position on the University’s Faculty Editing Service, wherein I would edit faculty submissions for scholarly journals. You‘d imagine that most professors would have developed a flawless mastery over the writing process by now, right? Well, mistakes still manage to creep through, and even though the thought of potentially editing a professor’s manuscript might seem daunting, the editing minor thoroughly prepared me for the challenge anyway, For instance, I once edited an article titled “Cannot You Trust God for a Sermon?”—Anti-Methodists and the Rhetoric ofMethodist Spirituality/r At one point in the article, I came across this sentence: “Wesley recalls walking up the stairs to the pulpit in the state of confusion and agitation.”
I searched the preceding sentences for a reference to “the” state of confusion and agitation, but I was unable to find it, Confidently, I swapped this simple definite article for its indefinite counterpart The text then read, “Wesley recalls walking up the stairs to the pulpit in a state of confusion and agitation” (emphasis added), A simple change, but an important one, and the editing minor has helped prepare me to take similar charge over other authors’ manuscripts and, as it’s done with me, the editing minor will instill you with the same degree of confidence. I also said that the editing minor teaches you how to masterfully compose your own literary works, academic or otherwise. Maybe “literary work” isn’t the best description for an office memo you might be asked to draft for your employer (but if the occasion presents itself, at least you‘re prepared); perhaps the most discernable benefits to your writing abilities that the editing minor provides are in your ability to confidently write more professional papers for your university courses.
I currently work as a writing tutor on campus, and I tend to review over a dozen student essays every week that demonstrate a wide variety of writing capabilities Some students are freshmen, some have just returned from their missions, and some have been writing essays for years, and it‘s easy to tell who’s had writing practice and who hasn’tt Specifically, you can tell who has learned how to fine-tune their essays and who really doesn‘t care, and it’s such a relief to be able to tutor a student who does care about applying editorial precision to his or her writing process, As you pursue the editing minor, you too can develop a greater confidence in and respect for your own writing abilities and thereby stand out to, yes, not only the writing tutors, but also the professors who will be grading your papers, In my own experience, I’ve had the privilege of being publically recognized by my professors for my writing abilities, which I attribute to the editing rninor.
Just last month, during my persuasive writing class, I wound up with the assignment to defend a particularly unsavory potential presidential candidate over another unsavory potential presidential candidate. In an attempt to seek validation, I publically acknowledged the slight difficulty of the task, to which my professor responded, “Tyler, if there’s anyone in here I trust with this assignment, it’s you,” I was pleasantly surprised, not knowing that my professor had privately assessed my writing skills to be considerable above those of my peers (and, to report, I ended up getting an A on the assignment). Again, I attribute my ability to write effectively to the training I‘ve received through the editing minor since the minor has taught me how to identify and correct mistakes in my own writing.
In conclusion, the editing minor teaches you how to take full confidence in the communication of written English Whether it’s editing someone else’s writing or your own writing, or whether it’s composing your own writing from scratch, the editing minor teaches you how to communicate effectively with any audience, and this skill is tremendously marketable when searching for a job—whether that job is specifically related to editing or not. Pursuing the editing minor has been the most beneficial and applicable aspect of my undergraduate education, and I strongly encourage all students who value clear communication to look into the minor for themselves.