The work we do at THIS stage of the Writing Process is probably the most important and demanding of all! It is when we REVIEW what we've written and MAKE CHANGES to improve it!
There are some great reasons to edit your drafts and to try to make them better:
- It shows that you care about your work — that you are trying to do well.
- You'll get better marks from writing that makes sense.
- It's a kindness to your readers.
ON PAPER ...
- When editing, many people who struggle with writing see what they WANTED to say, not what they actually wrote! It takes determination to overcome this problem — but it can be done!!
- Look at each word and read EXACTLY what you wrote out loud. Does it sound right? (Some people find it helpful to touch every word as they read.)
- If you have a personalized spelling dictionary, be sure to use it while you are editing!
ON A COMPUTER ...
- Use text-to-speech so you can LISTEN to what you've written — one sentence or short section at a time! Does it sound right?
- Use your spell-check — but remember that it's not a very smart tool! You've got to be THINKING while you use it!
WHAT TO LOOK FOR ...
- Are parts of your writing confusing? If so, you should re-write those sections! Try to find another way to say those things!
- Are you using vocabulary that matches your topic? Should you be using "better" words? Is there repetition that you should eliminate?
- Pay attention to the order and organization of your ideas. Do you have any "holes to fill"? Do you need to do some more research or writing?
- Double-check the spelling, capitalization and punctuation. If you have trouble with these kinds of things, ask your teacher for a Proofreading Checklist.