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In-depth interviews with more than 20 professional writers and editors show a growing concern among professionals for strengthening interpersonal skills. Seventy-five per cent of the sample interviewed stressed the need to improve interpersonal skills while 65% of this same sample noted that written documents benefit when the writer and the editor work collaboratively as early in the process as possible. A technical editing course that examines the process of taking a manuscript from rough draft to publishable form can accomplish this goal by involving students as completely as possible in the writing-editing process. Working collaboratively in a workshop environment, students learn to appreciate the writing act from both a writer's and an editor's perspective. As editors immersed in the writing act, they gain a better understanding of the writer's perspective and of the difficulties encountered when one tries to express abstract ideas in clear prose.
Date of Publication: March 1985