Thoughts on an Editing Portfolio?

Subject: Thoughts on an Editing Portfolio?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: techwr-l List <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, schu1663 <schu1663 -at- umn -dot- edu>
Date: Mon, 03 Dec 2007 07:49:08 -0500

Danielle wondered: <<I'm currently a student in a technical
communication program and was recently thinking about portfolios.
Specifically, I was wondering what kind of things one might include
when trying to create a portfolio to show off editing skills. At
first, I was thinking that I would need to include some "before-and-
after" documents, but then I came to the conclusion that anything I
have in the portfolio will show off editing skills.>>

I've been doing this so long that I no longer worry about portfolios;
most of my work now arrives via word of mouth. Those rare times
someone wants to see what I do before committing to work with me, I
ask one or more of my clients for permission to use one of their
current manuscripts as an example. I edit exclusively on the screen,
so I can create a portfolio on the fly simply by selecting
appropriate manuscripts from my current collection; here,
"appropriate" means in a genre related to the work I'm trying to win.

My take on this is that a good editing sample should show a range of
editorial attributes:
- completeness (no significant errors remaining)
- consistency (internal, with a given style guide)
- correctness
- the ability to recognize the difference between necessary and
arbitrary corrections
- an ability to suggest improvements that are wise, even if they're
not crucial
- an ability to engage the author in dialogue through polite,
helpful, judicious comments

Lots of details on this in my book (see below).

-- Geoff Hart
ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com
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Thoughts on an Editing Portfolio: From: schu1663

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