Week Fourteen: Guest Editors

The introductory slide used in one of our guest editor's presentations.

The introductory slide used in one of our guest editor’s presentations.

A teacher’s advice can go far, but sometimes it has a stopping point. In past classes I’ve taught, I’ve felt like students have heard but not always listened to my advice.

What drives the point home is an outside, credible second opinion from another expert.

This week we sought such an opinion. Twice. Our experts were two editors with two very different backgrounds. We have a third expert coming next Wednesday.

Expert one came on Monday, Mrs. Jamie Birdwell Branson, content copyeditor at Thomson-Reuters.

To start, we went around the room and had each student tell Jamie the most significant editing lesson she or he has learned thus far. Favorite lessons included “look everything up,” avoid “indulg[ing] the desire to change someone’s style,” and “make a style sheet and follow a style sheet.”

Then Jamie told us more about her work. At present, she’s copyediting a lot of tax law documents, showing us example edits she’s made recently, which required different software than the Microsoft Word track changes our students are familiar with using. She also gave a friendly face to editing and a sense of levity to editing info-heavy documents. For example, she laughed about a recent word issue she came across “non cash, which is not a word,” she said, but she explained that the term was being used and she had to look it up. Her laughing about this oddity and all the other odd tasks she takes on as an editor made the work sound more approachable, I think. Or at least, we saw the students laughing enough to suggest so.

Jamie impressed on our students that editing can be “a fulfilling career,” one that’s “tedious, but rewarding.” As a teacher, I related to one interesting comment she made: “I get to celebrate my job in increments.” Personally, I’ve never heard an editor say this, and I’d be curious to ask Jamie if this is because she works on one project at a time or if the sort of editing she does is so intensive and involved that every finished manuscript feels like a victory. Either way, it showed our student that if you enjoy work that has an end point and enjoy celebrating your accomplishments (and who doesn’t?), editing may be the profession for you. Editing can be enjoyable.

That’s not to say that it isn’t hard work that requires learning all along the way. Jamie impressed our students with her extensive resume of work and encouraged students to learn editing software. She’s using XML now, but she said “I wish someone would have told me to learn editing software, like Adobe InDesign.” This remark was helpful because it expresses to students that learning will continue outside the classroom. It will come later in their careers and it can’t be avoided. She added that the best copy editors are flexible,” saying descriptivist editors have a much easier time collaborating than prescriptivist editors.

Finally, I’m glad she stressed the point that “copyeditors are needed everywhere.” From carpet cleaning content writing, which Jamie once did, to tax law documents, anything and everything can be edited and your work trajectory can be for any entity and every experience helps.

Expert two, Joanna Schmidt, is a PhD student in TCU’s English Department with a past life in editing. She has editing degrees and started by introducing our students to her equally interesting work trajectory. She talked about how she looked for internships, took jobs that required her to exercise her editorial authority before she thought she was ready to, and the “quirkiness of working with writers who write about everything you can think of, plus dog biscuits.”

For the most part, she gave our students a lot of practical advice about entering the workforce, where to look for jobs, what types of jobs to look for (developmental vs. managerial copyediting, for instance), and how different companies will pay differently. I’d never thought about why a fiction press might pay less than the far less interesting work required of editing insurance manuals for the Oregon Insurance Licensing Exams, but it’s also not surprising. Perhaps now I’ll be more hesitant to encourage an editing student to pursue a secondary passion for creative writing, especially if she or he is better suited for editing information-heavy documents.

One of the interesting points Joanna ended on was: “Books are not dead; they’re just mutating in form.” She insisted that book publishing has been changing since the beginning of time, and “now we’re in another era of change.” She also had our students read the 2013 Publisher’s Report to get a better sense of just how well print books are selling, albeit with the caveat that e-books are selling well, too.

At the end of Joanna’s presentation, Dr. Leverenz pointed out that both of our two guest speakers from different editorial experiences offered two similar pieces of advice. First, editing students need to advocate for themselves when looking for career opportunities, and to fully embrace the entrepreneurial spirit within (or if it doesn’t exist, to create it). Second, good editors can enact every day, real-world skills on the fly, using good judgment to make smart editorial decisions with as much confidence as possible.

The final incentive for listening to our speaker’s advice? It’s all game for the final quiz, which takes place during their final exam time.

For any interested readers, my next post in a few weeks will be my final reflection on the semester, so stay tuned!

 

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Week Thirteen: Grading’s Never Easy

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Happy weekend to you, editing teacher!

During our weekly chat a few weeks back, Dr. Leverenz was telling how her grading was going on our students’ second projects. It was weekend two of grading for her and given the time and attention it takes to grade editing accurately, it seemed that a third weekend of grading was inevitable.

For many professors, weekends spent grading are to be expected. But what should you expect when your grading takes three weekends? What’s more disconcerting than surrendering your well-earned free time after a long week, during which you probably worked overtime anyway, to more overtime on the weekend, for several weekends in a row? An exhausting crash on Monday comes, just when you need to be refreshed and at your best.

This approach to work is not sustainable, and yet teaching editing necessarily invites it. Editing as a practice requires careful, focused attention to detail, many details. It requires multiple “passes” or readings for error. It’s an intensive effort on the part of the editor, and the reader who receives the edited piece may never be able to appreciate all the work that goes into the piece’s preparation, nor may a critic of a missed error be able to appreciate all the other changes made in the editing process. The work is invisible.

The work of grading of the editing, I’d argue, is equally invisible. The marks are on the page, the queries answered or occasional justifications made, but the time and effort that goes into grading something that required just as much time and effort means we’re giving multiple passes to a piece. We’re doing the same work as our students, plus thinking about grading, and this makes for a lot of work.

That’s not to say that grading composition papers or pieces of that sort doesn’t require intensive effort, but consider once again the attention to detail required of editors and how every error comes with greater consequences, an open invitation to criticism that a more low-stakes, freshman or sophomore composition paper may not. Because editing students work hard to learn the in’s and out’s of grammar and punctuation, it’s reasonable to expect that the one’s grading them work just as hard.

Or is it? We do, after all, have more students in an editing class than teachers. My point in all this pedagogical searching is to understand why this workload is so daunting and how we might alleviate some of it without sacrificing the quality of grading we do.

Cheryl Ball, professor at Illinois State University and editor of the online journal Kairos, said plainly, “Editing is the class that trumps all my rules for easy grading.” That comment was made in reply to a Facebook post Dr. Leverenz made on this topic. Dr. Ball quickly followed up with the only solution she could offer: “Although I did turn back a whole pile of reports to my editing students once, if I found more than four errors on the front page.”

Some editing teachers might appreciate that solution; others may have a hard time with setting the bar at four errors, arguing that it should be lower or higher. Regardless, it’s a strategy to consider. A few other possible strategies follow:

Partner up: Contact a graduate student interested in teaching an editing course or simply learning more about editing. That’s how I came to Dr. Leverenz this semester. Even though I never took a class on editing (not counting internships for credit), my past experiences in editing and writing for newspapers made the opportunity appealing to me and I was able to receive course credit for studying both Dr. Leverenz’s pedagogical methods and assisting with her teaching, i.e. grading exercises and quizzes when possible.

Save answer keys: Whether you’ve taught an editing class once or ten times, saving some of the manuscripts you grade as exercises and projects can alleviate the grading load in future semesters. Of course, these manuscripts should be replaced if they become outdated, circulated within a campus community, or prove to be not challenging enough for your students. Even so, having taught and graded the same manuscript before makes you a bit more familiar with it, and therefore, the load a little lighter.

Read first: Do you have students that consistently turn out good work? Consider reading their submissions first. Reading lets you get a better sense of the errors that even the best students will miss. Knowing the benefit of reading fist means you’ll have a better sense of what to expect from the whole class. It also means that you won’t be so harsh on that improperly linked URL because no one else in the class caught that note on the style sheet, so perhaps it needed to be highlighted in class.

Create a feedback list: As you grade, pay attention to what most students are missing. I keep a running list and then use that list as good material for discussion. In hindsight, I wish I had kept each list for each graded exercise so that we could have more closely tracked what was giving students a hard time and what improved by addressing it in class. Still, the list has helped us target specific, frequent errors and fix them. If students miss number consistency in exercise one, for example, then it should be addressed to ensure that it doesn’t continue to crop up in exercise two. Following up on the most pressing feedback points helps not only the student, but the teacher, too: fewer repeated errors to grade.

I’m sure there’s much, much more in the way of strategies. These are the ones I have relied on or learned from Dr. Leverenz. My hope is that it helps someone who stumbles across it. More selfishly, I also hope it helps me identify other strategies I can discuss in my final reflection letter on the class and makes grading editing just a little easier in the future.

 

Week Twelve: The New Readers

“I’m going to keep this brief, because you’re not going to stick around for long. I’ve already lost a bunch of you. For every 161 people who landed on this page, about 61 of you—38 percent—are already gone. You “bounced” in Web traffic jargon, meaning you spent no time “engaging” with this page at all.” https://editingforall.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/screen-shot-2014-04-02-at-11-20-01-am.png

Engaging readers by challenging their disengagement, the writer who wrote that hook, Farhad Manjoo, wrote “You won’t finish this article,” a feature in Slate last summer, in which he takes on the issue of web reading. Some of his most interesting claims, for our purposes, include the following:

  • Most readers who tweet out a link will do so before they read the entire article.
  • Readers don’t like to see double spaces after periods.
  • Readers don’t like to scroll. Scroll depth is usually less than halfway down the first page of an article.
  • “Most visitors read about 60%” of article content.
  • “Most visitors see all content on video and photo [galleries].”

Nota bene: all of this information was based on research reported by data scientist for Chartbeat Josh Schwartz.

Manjoo mixes two parts of frustration and disappointment with three parts data for one tall career conundrum that’s hard to digest. Still, for all his unabashed ranting, he concludes with some humility even the most traditional-print lovers might identify with:

“Maybe this is just our cultural lot: We live in the age of skimming. I want to finish the whole thing, I really do. I wish you would, too. Really—stop quitting! But who am I kidding. I’m busy. You’re busy. There’s always something else to read, watch, play, or eat.”

Like it or not, how we read is changing. Mashable made headlines in 2011 by publishing research from the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism, which found that “more people get their news from the Internet than from newspapers — and more ad dollars went to online outlets than to newspapers, too.” Most of the study respondents were aged 18-29, and this group, we know, is the next generation of readers editors will serve. Our logic follows as such: if how we read is changing, how we write will change next, followed by how we edit.

We’re now encouraging our students to think through these issues as editors. In the third unit, they are to edit writing for the web. Some of the exercises in this unit involve analyzing web pages for visual design, layout, and formatting. Some of these differences are out of their control. In other words, cascading style sheets or existing house style stipulations will determine how they edit. But when such constraints aren’t in play, experience critiquing and knowledge of who to change these editorial considerations will come in handy.

In prepping for the new readers, our students will also need to learn how to form new partnerships; namely, they should start thinking about partnerships with designers. On Wednesday of this week, Dr. Leverenz told our class: “There were once these very clear lines distinguishing writers [from] designers… those relationships are now fluid and people are relying very heavily on collaboration.” The lines that divide writers from designers are now blurred, and consequently, the lines that distinguish editorial work will necessarily change, too. These blurred lines challenge us to build new relationships based on new responsibilities.

I wonder, though, for any reader out there: Were you prepared to write/edit/design for new readers?

In class, we’re analyzing the changes. In the coming weeks, we will have editors visiting our class to talk about their current practices and how they see editing changing. Are other editing classes analyzing, discussing, or bringing in third-party speakers? If not, what are others doing differently? What would you do (or would have done) differently?

I’d love to hear more ideas. Lurkers, consider my warm and sincere interest in your experiences and feel free to comment below.

Week Eleven: Past the Curve, Hitting the Learning Stride

In week eleven of sixteen, our students are scoring better on exercises and quizzes. Their favorite grammar rules have been committed to memory and offered in confidence during class discussion. But perhaps most importantly, they’re beginning to approach manuscripts and style sheets with a sense of editorial authority.

Remember in week eight when we asked “Can editing be taught?” The most successful and the most trying types of students were discussed, and I couldn’t give a definitive answer of yes or no. I still can’t, but I can, however, analyze what’s going on with most students who linger in the middle.

The middle of the curve that most students rest at is far from a resting point. Consider the two images that follow.

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 9.53.57 AM

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 9.54.16 AM

When we have a new concept to learn, we aim for mastery on the part of all students. We want that bell curve to resemble another shape that shows improvement, one that’s top heavy. But this is rarely the case. With our grade distribution visualized, the usual bell rings out in a somewhat taunting way. Remember, however, that when a new concept is learned, the shape should shift, not change. Students haven’t been given an opportunity to demonstrate a new level of mastery on the recently-learned concept. We shouldn’t be disheartened.

I’m reminded now, almost three-fourths of the way through this semester, that recognizing this shift is a necessary buffer to the stress of being a good teacher. Even when our students are beginning to change the shape of our curve with higher scores, we need to be reminded that the one-dimensionality of the bell curve is a seductive simplification of the learning outcomes we strive to meet. Slow down around the curve and pay attention to what’s really going on.

Consider the curve of learning throughout the semester as a whole. It’s certainly nuanced with changing shapes and continual shifts, but if we flatten that to understand the level of difficulty in learning our students face throughout the semester we can better support their learning successes and challenges.

First, let me clarify that I’m not arguing for a reductive or simplified approach to planning one’s semester. Planning for surprises and hurdles is encouraged, but like the learning curve in each assignment we should expect our editing classes to feel more challenged by certain learning tasks, whereas others will come more easily. Dr. Leverenz has explained how she anticipates the trajectory of learning for the semester. To paraphrase her, we start students on a challenging but approachable series of editing exercises, introductory material for first-unit quizzes, and a project that is challenging but not in an overwhelming way. Editing mainstream publications was the focus of that first unit, whereas the most difficult of the three units for this semester, the one on academic publishing, challenged students the most but they were allowed a good deal of time and exposure to academic editing, given exercises, shown how to write query letters, and consult their fellow editors so that they had plenty of support and practice time. Finally, the third unit’s project was to edit web pages for a real client, our New Media Writing Studio here at TCU. In this unit our students are learning to hit a stride. Clearly, the challenges they found so distressing in the second unit have made this third one a breeze and their familiarity with the web makes the content for editing a bit more interesting.

So you see, there’s another curve. We shifted the first one a bit and that may have something to do with the second curve (the learning trajectory curve of our semester). The trajectory re-instills a sense of confidence in students. We start with a project of medium challenge, fully immerse students in learning about editing with a difficult manuscript, and now we’re back down to that medium-level, letting them demonstrate to us that the bell curve is in fact shifting.

Maybe it just needed a little regressing to gain some steam? A toy car has to be pulled back so it can launch forward. Maybe our semesters should always be structured this way. The norm seems to be a culmination of the most challenging projects and exercises at the end of a course, when mastery is to be complete. But could we train better editors with this curved trajectory?

Our grades suggest so. Let’s hope these good strides continue.

Week Ten: Changeover

In 2012, conversational use of hopefully was approved.

In 2013, underway was embraced with little to no clamor.

In 2014, over won’t be quite as lucky.Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 5.24.27 PM

My dear friend, and former editor at The Kansas City Star, jokingly posted a news story to Facebook about the AP Stylebook editors’ decision to accept over in describing excessive numerical amounts as opposed to the longstanding favorite, more than. The responses were quick-witted and cranky. I’d expect nothing less from the most dedicated editor and writer types.

The tweets came even quicker. Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 5.20.57 PM

A frustrated insider sent a tongue-in-cheek tweet at 1:19 pm on Thursday, and by the time it was reprinted in this Poynter story at 5:52 p.m. it had been retweeted 332 times and favorited by 118 Twitter users.

For a word that’s used so commonly in conversation, why do we care so much when it’s replaced in writing?

It’s not just editors who care. Teachers care, too. After all, changes at AP will inevitably ripple out to other style manuals and set a new norm in the classroom. One teacher expressed her disagreement with the change in the comments section of the Poynter article.

 

Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 5.20.22 PM

A Ms. Bridget Grogan said: “Doesn’t fly with me. I will continue to teach my students to use “more than”. Common usage is the excuse? A lot of people are doing it wrong, so we will too? Sigh…”

Before indulging your urge to edit what Grogan wrote, think about why she might have written it. Is this preservation of language in the best interest of her students? She seems to think so.

In response to what she wrote, another commenter said: “Common usage is not the excuse, it is what dictates the rule. …Are you going to continue to teach your students those rules? Of course not. Because that’s no longer how we USE the language.”

For editing teachers, where do your pedagogical beliefs lie? The rules of usage or the rules language users create? From reading The Copyeditor’s Handbook, our students learned that this dispute is the old descriptivists vs. prescriptivists debate. The descriptivist, according to John Updike, “proposes no ideal of clarity in language or, beyond that, of grace, which might serve as an instrument of discrimination,” whereas the prescriptivists hold tight and fast to the artificiality of rules, which are crafted by “language mavens” from “bits of folklore” but “make no sense on any level” (Einsohn 338).

The AP Stylebook editors’ announcement of usage changes for three years running gives more ethos to the descriptivist camp, and I suspect that modern editing students will prefer to descriptivism. I wrapped up class by showing the Poynter news story on the projector board, a sort of parting thought. The students laughed. Apparently, they find the change unworthy of so much clamor.

Or perhaps, they noticed the apocalyptic comments at the bottom stating that this is over most can bear.

 

Week Eight: “Can Editing be Taught?”

“Can editing be taught?”

That was the question Dr. Leverenz posed to me during our weekly meeting. It’s a question we’ve touched on before and one we keep returning to. In this post, I want to sketch out my initial thoughts at this mid-semester point. I’ll return to this reflection at the end of the semester, too, to see if any of my opinions have changed.

The question comes up in conversation usually after we finish scoring exercises and quizzes. Why? Because the distribution of scores appears somewhat unchanged. We teach with the intention of improving scores. So if a student gets a 15 out of 20 on his or her first exercise assignment, an average 75%, and then an 18 out of 20 on his or her second exercise, a 90%, we feel content with seeing this improvement.

More often than not, we see the distribution of scores as remaining static. Enter the bell curve (and check out the series of visualizations representing bell curves instructors have used).

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What we want to see is the shift in scores. Even when this happens, the differentials are maintained. A select few might struggle in the low C, D, or F range. Most will float around somewhere in the middle range of C’s and B’s, and a few will shine. Those that shine usually show themselves early on. They possessed editing skills before they came to class and when they put in a respectable amount of hard work, they polish off their existing skills, becoming just a bit shinier.

Those in the middle may improve somewhat; they shift back and forth as they learn new concepts, sometimes struggling, sometimes gaining. Finally, some seem to struggle from the beginning. These are the ones I tend to worry about the most. Sometimes what they need as learners is unclear to us and no clearer to them. We invest a lot of energy in trying to understand why they’re struggling with a concept and what learning approach will solve the problem. But more often than not, we spend a semester engaging in trial-error teaching, investigating a number of learning strategies but never feeling like we fully helped. This point brings us back to the original question. Can editing be taught?

Can editing be taught to a student who struggles from beginning to end? Is editing just one of those special talents that some students have and others don’t? Will there always be a distinction between the have’s and the have-not’s? If so, how does this issue change our teaching? Are we responsible for making this learning curve clear to students so that we don’t perpetuate unrealistic ideas about a future in editing? Or do we persist in educating the have’s and the have-not’s equally, albeit with learning modifications to assist each as we see fit.

At this point, I have no answers for which I’d argue strongly. I expect the remaining eight weeks will influence my opinions in ways I can’t yet know, but for now I am struck by two important considerations. Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 9.56.00 AM

First, it’s hard to see a shift toward improvement on a particular learning concept when the concept has changed. If we see average performance on a punctuation exercise, average to poor performance on a citation-style exercise that follows shouldn’t bring about a shift. A new concept is to be learned; we haven’t given the students an opportunity to demonstrate a new level of mastery on the last concept, and thus, we shouldn’t feel disheartened.Image

Second, I’m of a split pedagogical mind in regards to “reality checking” students. On the one side, I know that I don’t have the heart to turn away any student who wants to learn any concept, particularly ones determined to make it in editing. On the other side, it breaks that same heart to think that one of my students might struggle in the workforce or even fail to launch into her or his desired profession because he or she was on the unfortunate end of a learning curve and I didn’t have the heart to tell that student may not be able to shift forward with the rest.

The easy thing to do is to help as much as possible, let the student believe she or he is on the way to becoming a skilled editor, and let oneself assume that’s what happened. The responsible thing to do is to address the student’s position on the learning curve in relation to 1.) the rest of the class, 2.) the profession, and 3.) that student’s future learning goals. Here are just a few questions and suggestions to use as talking points:

1. “Based on your grade in the class, let’s look at the distribution of scores to better understand how we can improve your learning experience.”

2. “Based on what I know about the profession, I think you need to hone these skills: X, Y, and Z. Do you think that’s reasonable for you? What do you know about yourself as a learner that might make learning these skills difficult? What has come easily for you? Can we step back and inventory all your skills so we can determine if this is the best profession for you to be entering? Even if it turns out that it isn’t, we could discuss your strongest skills and what related professions those skills would be of the greatest service to.”

3. “Based on your scores and the feedback you’ve been given by me, what do you think you still need to learn in editing? What’s clicking and what are you challenged to understand? Are there any personal factors that are holding you back from succeeding in this course? I ask because I want you to think about your future and whether developing editing skills is best for you in the long run or if your time might be better spent developing other skills, ones you already know you’re good at.”

Having these conversations will be hard, no doubt, but if we don’t have these conversations we do our students a disservice.

And perhaps we do a disservice to our future students, too. If we’re brave enough to address these learning issues, then in turn we can learn more about how to accommodate struggling editing students in the future.

Week Seven: Editing in The Liberal Arts and Unlikely to Become Obsolete

Image credit to Dr. John Fea, Stonybrook University Department of History.

Image credit to Dr. John Fea, Stonybrook University Department of History.

Despite all the pedagogical searching I’ve done in past posts, it just occurred to me this week that I, and perhaps many other editing teachers, make the assumption that editing is a skill students need to learn while studying at a university and any university, for that matter. The assumption isn’t helpful when one engages in discussion with other writing teachers, though, particularly those who think editing an unnecessary skill for students pursuing a liberal arts education, like our students at TCU. Some writing teachers also think the skill of editing will soon become obsolete in the age of autocorrect technology and others think editing encourages a reductive, product-pedagogy approach to teaching writing.

To those arguing that editing classes aren’t necessary because editing is an almost trade-like skill, not an art form to be studied and held in high regard as, say, the study of the British literature canon or the history of French Nouveau Art, I want to acknowledge that those concerns are logical. A liberal arts education comes with a certain set of values attached and instructors know this reality to be true, but do the students enrolling in liberal arts universities fully understand this reality? We might also question how best to react when a demand for more editing classes is acknowledged, most likely because more students want to work in the fields of editing and publishing, not academia. Do we refuse the requests of those students? Do we ask them to accept that a certain career path in editing that was marketed to them isn’t actually attainable to them with an English degree? Do we nudge liberal arts students to careers in academia? I hope not. Given my pedagogical values, I’d attempt to adapt to the needs of my learners in any situation, acknowledging if and when the academic vision of my institution furthers or hinders their needs. If I have a student who is enrolled at a liberal arts institution but wants editing experience, I’m not inclined to ignore this need. I’m inclined to be responsive. So I put this question to teachers: Is there a pedagogical disconnect between your students’ learning needs and those set forth in your university’s mission? If so, which set of needs will you support? Have you considered how this disconnect might affect writing instruction more than we realize?

To those of the opinion that the skill of editing will soon become obsolete due to the automation of spelling and grammar correction technologies, I ask you to tab over in your browser to a crassly-titled site, F You, Auto Correct. The purpose of the site is simple, its audience mainstream, but the “germs attacking” becomes “germans attacking” and the puppies are accidentally taken to the “boilers” instead of the “groomers,” remind us that editing technologies are just as prone to error as the humans who create them. At some point, they will err. When they do, we can only hope that individual editing skills will be sufficient for correction, and that a competent, well-trained copyeditor at Microsoft is already working to fix the problem. Here we see technological determinism, a theory unique to the rapidly growing discipline of the digital humanities, rear its ugly head and remind us that overreliance on technology does all of us a disservice.

Finally, to those committed to process pedagogy, your concerns are valid, but I want to spend some time with John Bryant, a writing scholar who reminds us we shouldn’t run to any extreme on a pedagogical spectrum. On this spectrum, we might see product approaches to teaching composition on the right and distanced from process approaches farther down on the left, the latter being more holistic and pedagogically effective than the former (click here for a more detailed explanation of these pedagogies). In his 2009 article, “Editing is Learning,” Bryant presents an idea that disrupts that spectrum, by bringing opposite ends closer together with the claim that superficial errors and corrections can be of great benefit to the developing writer (126). As part of his defense, Bryant presents a practical example from when an editor felt his reputation hinged on an article publication that was edited poorly, alerting us to the very real consequences of not teaching editing (127). “Editing,” he goes on to say, “is a search for discourse; it is more seminar than lecture” (Bryant 127). He goes on to posit that when students are fully engaged and invested in learning editing, the results are a better “finished product” and that editing learning is often associated with as well as a richer development of the writer’s process as “communal” and connected to the processes of other editors and writers (Bryant 127). So while it’s easy to jump on the process bandwagon, it’s equally easy to get carried too far in the process direction and forget that skills like editing have their value, too.