ERIC Number: ED227479
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-May
Reference Count: 0
Error Pattern Analysis Applied to Technical Writing: An Editor's Guide for Writers.
Monagle, E. Brette
The use of error pattern analysis can reduce the time and money spent on editing and correcting manuscripts. What is required is noting, classifying, and keeping a frequency count of errors. First an editor should take a typical page of writing and circle each error. After the editor has done a sufficiently large number of pages to identify an error pattern, the errors can be arranged in categories, alphabetically, and assigned numbers such as (1) awkward syntax, (2) choice of word, (3) lack of colon for lists and definitions, and so forth. While it is possible for authors to make a wide variety of errors, they actually make only a few, and these they repeat. Commas may be a special problem because of the large number of subcategories and rules governing them. In this instance the editor can simplify terms and produce subcategories such as (4a), (4b), and so on. Once a pattern and numbering system are established, the editor can simply circle an error and place a number above it. The authors can then refer to the rules cited on a master sheet of the most common errors that would accompany their papers. This list becomes a nameless and faceless expert, a "third part," that can prevent some of the confrontations that occasionally arise between a writer and an editor. The most important aspect of error pattern analysis is that it reduces what seems to be a thicket of possible errors to a relatively small list of those that people actually make. (HOD)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Technical Communication Conference (28th, Pittsburgh, PA, May 20-23, 1981).