U.S. English Chicago Style Editing Skills Test (For Writing Professionals)

U.S. English Chicago Style Editing Skills Test (For Writing Professionals)

 

Which of the following sentences requires editing to correct an error in subject-verb agreement?

a. Every one of the scouts is responsible for his own camping equipment and should come prepared for a strenuous hike.
b. The walls of the old villa have been newly plastered with white stucco, which rob them of their charm.
c. In your case, I’d say that a deepened sense of self-awareness and a lessened propensity to fly off the handle have made you much more pleasant to be around.
d. Not only the horses but also the goat has been rounded up and locked in the barn.
e. The receptionists and clerks each hope for a substantial bonus this year.


Read the following closing paragraph of an Internet-based business-to-consumer sales letter and select the option that illustrates the best course of action for an editor to take.

So are you ready to get your head out of the weeds? CLICK HERE to order your Garden Guru Deluxe package and FREE GardenFriend Tool Belt, and join more than 100,000 other hard-working people who now spend their weekends playing instead of pruning! And just to sweeten the pot, I’ll take off an additional 30% if you order before December 10. You can’t beat that with a stick!    

Weedlessly Yours,
Jay Appleseed
President, Garden Guru Inc.

P.S. I have your deluxe Package and FREE gift ready to send to you. After you order using your credit card, I’ll send you your tracking number and full instructions. Click here to order.

a. For the sake of credibility, strongly suggest that the author back up his claim that “100,000 people” own this product.
b. Change instances of ALL CAPS to sentence case or lowercase as appropriate.
c. Recast the entire closing to eliminate humor.
d. Delete the unprofessional “P.S.”
e. None of the above actions are necessary. Though it may benefit from a little tweaking, this closing is acceptable.


Read the following sentence and select the option that illustrates the best course of action for an editor to take.

The forthcoming community celebration in Tuscaloosa has many surprises in store for whomever arrives before nine in the morning and manages to find one of the fifteen special golden tickets hidden in the haystack at the entrance.

a. Change “forthcoming” to “imminent” to clarify the intent of the sentence.
b. Change “has” to “will have had.”
c. Change the correlative pronoun to “whoever.”
d. Place a comma after “tickets.”
e. c and d


Choose the editing option that best corrects the underlined part of the following sentence.

At this point in the play, we see that Hamlet has still not decided whether to kill Claudius, despite brooding over it for quite some time.

a. despite he brooded over it for quite some time
b. despite having brooded over it for quite some time
c. despite that he had been brooding over it for quite some time
d. despite that he broods over it all the time


Read the following passage and select the option that illustrates the best course of action for an editor to take.

1) I am unable to forgive my neighbor who
2) fails to return a lawn mower he had taken
3) from my garage without my permission. He is
4) now persona non grata in my home.

a. Edit line (1) for pronoun reference.
b. Edit line (2) for verb tense consistency.
c. Edit lines (1) and (4) for diction.
d. Edit line (3) for punctuation.
e. This passage does not need editing.


Read the following passage and select the option that illustrates the best course of action for an editor to take.

1) After the accident, Justine left her teaching
2) job; she has not able to resume her teaching
3) and possibly never will be able
4) to resume her teaching again.

a. Edit line (1) for adverb clause structure and punctuation.
b. Edit line (2) for omission of a completing verb form.
c. Edit lines (2), (3), and (4) to eliminate repetition of “able” and “her teaching.”
d. Delete “again” in line (4) to avoid redundancy.
e. a, b, and d
f. b, c, and d


Read the following passage and select the option that illustrates the best course of action for an editor to take.

1) Even though Sharon spends a good deal of time complaining,
2) bemoaning her fate, and wishing that her circumstances
3) are not quite so humble, I’m pretty sure that she is
4) grateful for everything she has.

a. Edit lines (1) and (4) for pronoun-antecedent agreement.
b. Edit line (2) for verb tense consistency.
c. Edit lines (1) and (3) to correct errors in diction and idiomatic expressions.
d. Edit line (3) to correct error in present tense vs. past subjunctive mood.
e. This passage does not need editing.


Read the following sentence and select the option that illustrates the best course of action for an editor to take.

Try and imagine a mental picture of someone struggling with the activity of trying to learn what the fingerings and techniques are for how to play the flute.

a. Delete the phrase “with the activity of trying” to eliminate wordiness.
b. Change “Try and” to “Try to” to correct faulty phrasing.
c. Recast the entire sentence to fix multiple style and usage errors.
d. Query the author about flute-playing techniques.
e. Delete “a mental picture” to eliminate redundancy.


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