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  • Writer's pictureSierra Shipton

Why. you. need. an. editor.

In today’s age, of word processors with built in spelling and grammar checks and internet programs like Grammarly, why do you still need an editor? Well, there are several reasons.

1. An editor keeps the human element intact.

Have you ever heard a robot talk? It would look more like this in print: Have. you. ever. heard. a. robot. talk? (Imagine me reading that in a nerdy mechanical voice. You’re welcome. 😊) An editor can keep your voice intact so that your work doesn’t sound like a Dalek from Dr. Who wrote it. Your voice is your style, and an editor can work within that style. This means that your work will sound like you, not like everyone else.

Often, the spelling and grammar check in your word processor or Grammarly, wants to remove style, especially if something is written in a way that may be considered “grammatically incorrect.” Ever tried to use one of these programs on a piece written in a particular dialect? Your backwoods cowboy will sound like a politician in two seconds.

According to the quote from Forbes on Grammarly’s website, it “makes you sound like a pro.” But sometimes, a writer doesn’t want to sound like a pro, they want to sound like a backwoods cowboy. 😊

2. An editor can help you fix issues that a program may be able to identify but doesn't have the capability to help you fix.

Grammarly boasts that premium users can access over 400+ checks and features. This even includes a plagiarism check. Here’s a thought, don’t plagiarize to begin with, give credit where credit is due. If you aren’t sure how to give credit appropriately, ask your editor. A good editor will be able to tell you how to cite sources according to the style manual you’re writing under, whether it be APA, MLA, Chicago, AP, or another style. Grammarly might tell you if something appears to be plagiarized, but it can’t help you remedy the issue!

3. There are certain mistakes that a real, live editor is more likely to catch.

These programs don’t catch everything. There have been times where I’ve typed tow instead of two, sue instead of use, to instead of too, or any other number of common mix-ups and even my word processor didn’t catch it because the words were not misspelled; they were just used inappropriately. But as soon as I read the piece with my own two eyes, I catch the errors. Case in point, as I was typing this, I first typed tow instead of two in “two eyes” above, and Microsoft Word didn’t flag it. Neither did it catch “and” instead of “an” in “Because an editor” below.

4. An editor will work with you, not just for you.

Because an editor is human, they can work with you and give you feedback, not just fix spelling and grammar errors. They can answer questions like “Does this make sense?” or “Where does this fit?”

So, before you entrust your writing fate to Grammarly or spell check, consider contacting me. Let's make your piece the best it can be.

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