Editing test on my website?

Subject: Editing test on my website?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, Bonnie Granat <bgranat -at- granatedit -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2006 09:36:05 -0400

Bonnie Granat wondered: <<My contract fizzled this week, so I am back in the game, so to speak.>>

Sympathies. Best of luck finding fun new work!

<<Anyway, I took an editing test today. I was asked to developmentally edit and line edit an article for a company that was published on the Web more than two years ago. If I do not get the assignment, is there any reason for me not to use the test as an example of my editing on my website?>>

The best reason in the world: the test is copyrighted in the name of the person who wrote it. Your edits are indeed your own intellectual property, but you can't republish the original text without the author's permission.

What you can do, with a lot more work, is to make up your own example. Let's say you found a range of problems, including (for the sake of example) one that illustrates illogical sequencing of information. You can now create your own example of text with an illogical sequence: if the original test described the steps in the assembly of a club sandwich, your example could describe the steps in the assembly of a Lego car. See the principle? Use your edits in the test to identify a class of problem (bad sequence, internal contradiction, inconsistency, bad grammar, missing information, useless redundancies, etc.), then create your own example that shows the same problems.

Here's a trick that will help you do this faster: Write a short (500 words max?) description of some process, and make it the best description you could possibly create as a technical writer... something that will make the rest of us gasp in envy and want to hire you immediately. That's your "after". Now create the "before": take a list of steps and delete one minor step that should not be deleted, then reverse the order of two other steps that must occur in the "after" sequence. Where you repeat information, make the first instance contradict the second instance. And so on. Have fun with it!
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Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca

(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)


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Editing test on my website: From: Bonnie Granat

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