Re: “University of Victoria turns efforts to rooting out cheaters,” Feb. 17.
This article reviewed instances of academic dishonesty at the University of Victoria (up to 35 cases out of 20,000 students) and the steps administrators are taking to fight cheating.
What the article fails to recognize is the valuable and legitimate assistance Victoria’s professional editors provide to students. Editors coach students; they will not write or rewrite a student’s paper. They will point out structural problems, obvious grammatical errors and flaws in logic. This is how editors can ethically help students produce written assignments in a way that preserves academic integrity.
The Professional Editors Association of Vancouver Island represents nearly 100 editing professionals who offer a wide variety of editing services, including academic editing. Our members help students with term papers, theses, dissertations and many other academic writings with the full knowledge of professors and academic authorities. Our members will not work with a student unless the instructor has given the student approval to work with an editor.
The article leaves readers with the impression that editors have no place in the academic writing process. In fact, editors can make a valuable contribution to the learning and research undertaken by post-secondary students. Professional editors offer students a valid learning opportunity, not an invitation to cheat.
Paula Gaube and Ellen Reynolds
Professional Editors Association of Vancouver Island
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