Documentary Editing, Association for


Date of this Version

Summer 2006

Document Type



Documentary Editing, Volume 28, Number 2, Summer 2006. ISSN 0196-7134


2006 © the Association for Documentary Editing. Used by permission.


As textual or documentary editors, we perform a range of tasks that translate exceptionally well into classroom practice. The kinds of materials that readers need from our editions are produced by the kinds of skills that our students need to succeed in their college coursework and professional lives. But just as the foundational work of editors has often been devalued by critics and theorists uninterested in where the texts they study come from, we have also overlooked the great benefit that students can gain from doing the work that editors do.

In this essay, I will overview briefly the kinds of assignments I have been incorporating into my classes with tremendous success over the past five years. In fact, of all the pedagogical techniques I have used over the last twenty years of teaching on the college level, the results I have seen from integrating the skills of documentary editing far surpass anything else I have tried for developing skills in critical reading, thinking, writing, and research.