How Does a Good Editor Make Your Material Clearer and More Reader-friendly?

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val-good-editorVal Gerard, Ph.D.

Editing-Writing.com

According to Murphy’s Law, if it is possible for a sentence to be misinterpreted, at least some of the people who read your manuscript/publication/proposal/book will do just that. From unfortunate experience, I can tell you that it is not pleasant to have your material incorrectly cited, or even criticized because someone did not understand what you meant to say. Yet, it is difficult to be sure that your own writing is clear and concise, because what you mean to say is already in your mind. A good editor will identify the unclear or inaccurate sentences and correct them. The examples below are sentences from a variety of sources, before (top) and after (bottom) revision. Decide for yourself if the edited versions are clearer and less apt to be misinterpreted.

1st Sample

Also a study performed FNA in all consecutive clinically T1-2, No-1 breast cancer patients with suspicious nodes and reported that it has moderate sensitivity, which varies according to selection criteria, consistently high specificity, low inadequacy rate, and very few false positives. They estimated of one quarter of their cases would spare unnecessary SNB, thus suggest axillary FNAC should be adopted routinely into clinical practice.

With the REMED algorithm we obtained ABP thresholds, and then rounded (±5 mm Hg) with the lowest value to compare its values with ABP thresholds from other studies, and we used the unpaired t-test for this comparison.

The spectral profile of speech stimuli was upwardly shifted in the present study, and they were supposed to be identified as female talkers because of the importance of spectral profiles to voice gender discrimination. However, the confusion matrix analysis showed that subjects inclined to identify the upwardly shifted speech as male talkers’ utterances, especially with 50Hz envelope filter.

It is possible to get information that is more valuable with the help of the closely related taxa which vary in genome size and share recent evolutionary history along with a broad suite of life-history features, like plants in the Asteraceae family.

2nd Sample

FNA used in evaluations of breast cancer patients has been demonstrated to have consistently high specificity, low inadequacy rate, and few false positives, but only moderate sensitivity, which depends on the criteria used to select the lymph node sampled. Several reports concluded that routine use of FNA would spare a significant proportion of patients from unnecessary SNB.

The ABP thresholds, rounded to the nearest 5 mm Hg, were compared to ABP thresholds from other studies using unpaired t-tests.

The upwardly shifted spectral profile was supposed to identify female talkers; however, confusion matrix analysis showed that subjects tended to identify the upwardly shifted speech as male talkers, especially with the 50 Hz envelope filter.

Closely related taxa that share recent evolutionary history and life-history features, such as plants in the Asteraceae family, might provide more valuable information about the relationship between genome size and intron size.


Val Gerard, Ph.D. has over thirty years of teaching experience, including scientific writing courses.

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