If you’re an officer who’s hoping to make your mark in the criminal justice field, you need to think about ways to sharpen your writing skills. Career advancement always requires good writing skills!
One tool you should think about is editing software. Some services are free, while others charge a subscription fee. My friend Chuck Warren sent me an article that lists 11 editing tools and describes how they work: “Instantly Improve Your Writing with These 11 Editing Tools.”
I recommend reading the article and thinking about using one of these editing tools to look for errors in your written work. These electronic tools can be especially valuable when you’re taking college courses or working on an important report for your agency.
Computer software tools can’t think like humans, of course! For example, most editing tools can’t spot a word that’s spelled correctly but used incorrectly (your/you’re, its/it’s). And sometimes they’re not as smart as we are! The grammar checker on my computer sometimes nags me to fix a sentence that I know is perfectly ok.
Still – spellcheckers, grammar checkers, and other editing tools are a great boon to writers. (The tools on my home computer have saved me from many embarrassing errors!)
Here are some tips:
- If your work-issued laptop doesn’t have a spellchecker or a grammar checker, consider writing your reports on a PC first. Run your finished piece through the spelling and grammar checks, and then copy it onto your laptop.
- Consider using a free editing tool – or subscribing to one.
- Don’t assume that everything the computer says is right. When in doubt, ask a friend for a second opinion.