Editing does make a difference

Monday, September 22, 2008

By: Shauna Agan

When visiting Lincoln High School in Des Moines, I came across a copy of The Railsplitter, a student-ran newspaper. I haven’t read this newspaper forever and wanted to see what was new at my former school, so I decided to pick up a newspaper.

From what I have been taught already, I saw a lot of things in the paper that can and should be changed in the writings, but of course these students may not have learned proper techniques to writing yet beings they are still in high school. What disturbed me, though, were the inaccuracies and contradictions in the sports section.

As a former softball player for Lincoln, I decided to look at the softball article wrapping up last season’s results. The article said, “A key highlight of the game was Junior Courtney Ghee’s three run homerun which made the final score 2-1”.

Correct me if I am wrong, but if Ghee hit a three run homer, shouldn’t the final score have been 3-1? A little bit of simple editing would have caught this mistake.

Next, I read an article about the varsity football team. The article said that the sophomore team last year had a record of 7-1. However, right after stating this, a quote from football player Devon Miller says, “Our sophomore year we went 0-8”.

Now, either the writer completely messed up the record of last year’s sophomore team, or he was referring to a different class and did not clarify the distinction to the readers.

While I understand that these students are still in high school and have a lot of room for improvement in their writing, the editor or even the teacher in charge should have caught these errors. Maybe a little extra time editing before sending the paper to print wouldn’t hurt.


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