One fundamentally important aspect of professional editing is the process of fact-checking. According to Merriam-Webster.com, fact-checking is defined as “to verify the factual accuracy of.” (Something more people should do…)
This isn’t exhilarating stuff. In fact, fact-checking is probably the most tedious and mundane aspect of a professional editor’s job. However, although this particular aspect of editing may appear to be quite dull, its importance is unparalleled. Oftentimes, there is nothing worse than misspelling a company’s name, misusing a particular reference or even misrepresenting a product’s intended use. Therefore, professional editors must always ensure that their clients get their facts straight!
Fact-checking is normally a fairly easy process that can be done via the Internet. For example, if an editor was reading text in which the writer made reference to the company “Walmart,” a quick visit to the company’s website would reveal that the correct spelling of the company’s name is, in fact, “Wal-Mart.” Not a big deal, right? Perhaps not to the average reader, but should a Wal-Mart representative ever come across this misrepresentation, the source of the original content could be in for a battle. And, let me reassure you, the fault will not lie in the hands of the professional editor, but rather on the writer of the piece of work, the owner of the website on which the material appears, etc.
What do to? Hire a professional editor! Now, this is not some clever tactic to generate more business for FirstEditing.com but rather is merely a reality check! Professional editors know that fact-checking is a part of their day-to-day editing routine, thus in the hands of professionals, your work will never to subject to an embarrassing error.
Essentially, what fact-checking does is ensures that all material used is correct and cannot result in a potential lawsuit (it’s incredible what can get you into trouble these days!). Professional editors are there to make your work factual, thus decreasing your chances of misrepresentation. Ultimately, it’s what we’re paid to do!