During the summer of 2016, I applied to and was accepted by the Opus Politicum Society on the BYU-Idaho campus edit and review articles for publication in their magazine. On the page for the magazine, it states: “Opus Politicum is BYU-Idaho’s annually published political science journal. Only the most exceptional work by students is included. Five submissions are selected to represent the best work that BYU-Idaho students have to offer. As these are published, the presidency ensures they are archived by the university’s special collections unit in the library.” As an editor, I needed to review and ensure that high-quality articles were picked and edited for clarity.
Since I was not a political science major, I couldn’t content edit the article to ensure that all of the material was correct. Instead, I copyedited and proofread the two articles that were submitted to me by the society. Once I made my notes on what needed to be fixed, I filled out a form that asked if the articles should be included in the magazine or not. The article that I reviewed that made it into the magazine, “U.S. Hegemony: Stability Insured by American Nationalism”, (located on pages 5-12) needed some editing and fixing up, but it was well written and fit what the magazine was looking for. The other article I was given was not as well written or thought out, and I had to decline to send it to the magazine. The article had good points and thoughts, but the structure and grammar made it difficult to follow and read.
This experience was invaluable to me because it was the first time I had professionally edited any content for publication. I was able to put into practice the idea of reviewing any written content multiple time for mistakes, which is an important skill to have as an editor. It also taught me to make a judgment call on the content of an article and be okay with saying yes or no for it to be published.