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"Why do I need an editor?"

Most word processors have adequate spellchecking software, and some even have integrated grammar checkers to help you spot certain types of error. So why hire an editor? Because editing involves much more than correcting typos and simple grammatical problems. Editing demands certain specific skills that not everyone has—and even good writers can benefit from an editor's assistance.

Try the following quiz to see how your skills measure up against those of a professional editor. (Click the number of the question to display the correct answer. Once you've read the answer, close the answer window to return to this quiz.)

[1] Their are three erors in this sentence.

[2] Percent of freelancers working in the following fields:

Freelance category


% of total

Technical editing



Technical writing



Information design






[3] On a Web page:

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[5] Consider the effective affect of iliciting an elicit elusion from allusive illusions to works of literature.

[6] If example 5 had been written by a PhD candidate in literature, but the intended audience for the writing were less familiar with the styles and vocabulary used in this genre of writing, how could you rewrite this sentence to better convey the meaning?

[7] In total, more than 50% of the audience was unimpressed by the play.

[8] The problem with quotation marks is that "nobody knows how to punctuate them".

Did you miss the solution to any of these problems? If so, your writing would benefit from the services of a good editor: me. I'll help ensure that your readers can concentrate on what you're trying to say, not on how you're trying to say it.

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