When you are unsure of something, question it! There are a number of challenges when editing secondary English, or enhancing the English writing of ESL writers, but the main problem for most is deciphering the meaning of words or phrases in sentences when that meaning is not readily apparent. Even the best copy editor should not ever guess at the meaning. There is never any shame in asking the writer.
FirstEditing.com's editorsarehighly qualified in secondary English editing, due in large part to their successful dissertation editing and thesis editing services. There are always writers in search of secondary English editing for their manuscripts, and FirstEditing.com does a large volume of business in manuscript editing.
Secondary English editing takes a particularly talented editor. Most writers who are writing in ESLactually have a better grasp of English grammar and punctuation than those writing in English as a first language!
Given the quirky nature of the English language, the top quality of the theses, manuscripts, and other documents submitted to FirstEditing.com by writers in search of secondary English editing is very impressive. This kind of writing requires years of schooling for native English speakers to learn the ins and outs of our often illogical vocabulary; therefore,small errors by those who didn't grow up speaking English aremore than understandable.
Skilled specialist editors come across common errors that are virtually universal in secondary English editing. Incorrect prepositions almostare guaranteed. Pronoun/subject agreement and verb tense may also be in dispute. They are straightforward errors, and they are evident to any professional editor.
Among the main pitfalls in secondary English editing is the sentence that doesn't make sense. The editor is cruising along, altering "of" to "to," and "he" to "they," when she suddenly comes across a sentence that unfortunately makes no sense.Regularly, writers for whom English is not their native language get their words mixed up, especially verbs. Occasionally, that's why a sentence will make no sense.
However, at times, the challenge is more difficult than that. Typically, the editor's temptation is to assist the author to figure out what he meant.Sometimes, the context is apparent, such as a phrase of warning. If it is not perfectly clear what the author meant, an editor will have to not edit the phrase, but question. Even if it appears clear and the editor finds the perfect verb to insert, a notice to the writer asking "Is this change okay?" is always suggested.If it is less clear, and it would be obvious to the writer that the editor is just guessing, leave it alone. Add a cautionary note to the writer purely saying, "meaning not apparent," or something equally basic.
Occasionally it goes against an editor's grain to do that. A skilled editor desires to become— and is—the authority. However, a professional editor is not a mind reader. The biggest responsibility from the editor's position is to support the author, and to not add anything that's incorrect to the author's dissertation, thesis, or manuscript.
Some editors are afraid that the writer will think the editor just isn't carrying out her task if she doesn't transform the sentence. However, most writersappreciate feeling as though they're a part of your process. After all, it really is their creation. Therefore, in secondary English editing, when the meaning is unclear, do not guess, question.
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