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Qualitative audience responses to editorial treatment and nontreatment in terms of comprehension and evaluation of message and source were compared. This experiment was conducted in response to the trend in government and industry to cut back on editorial expenses by issuing `quick and dirty' reports. From an examination of lay audiences tested, a strong correlation emerged between editorial treatment and reader comprehension (21.3% improvement from unedited to edited treatment), task completion time (21.5% decline), and message acceptability (20% increase), Results indicate that if editors do not invest editorial time in a manuscript, then each reader must. And, according to acceptability scores, some will not.
Date of Publication: March 1985