Revising and Drafting. Revising and Proofreading. Publishing and Proofreading. You choose a topic, identify your audience and purpose, brainstorm ideas, and organize information.
Drafting In this stage, you write your ideas in sentences and paragraphs. Follow your prewriting plan to write a first draft of your composition. Revising This is the first part of editing and writing. You may work by yourself or with a partner or a group. If you can leave the revision of the conclusion for a few hours after answering these questions, your brain may solve any question of how to skillfully weave your argument together.
Allow yourself some quiet time to let images and stories to arise. Re-read the revised introduction as a source of inspiration. Letting Go Revising can be a metaphorical journey in letting go.
Yes, you know it will make for a better paper in the long run, but you may bemoan all the lost time and effort. Your final paper will be successful because you trusted the process—trusted your creative mind to come up with new material even better than the old. Learning Objectives Recognize language that is unclear or imprecise Key Takeaways Key Points Editing and proofreading are concerned with the style of your writing, not the substance of your argument.
Editing focuses on the clarity of your writing, particularly word choice, sentence construction, and transitions. Proofreading focuses on mechanics, such as grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Unlike revising for purpose, editing and proofreading focus on the sentence level of your work.
When editing, you look at how clearly you have written. The goal is to make sure that your sentences are easily understood and tightly written. While editing focuses on improving your writing, proofreading is more like fact-checking it. The goal of proofreading is to find and correct mechanical errors. It can be helpful to do a peer review: ask one of your peers to edit and proofread your paper. Since they are seeing your work for the first time, they will probably be able to spot problems that you have missed.
Reading a printed page of text backwards is a good way to catch errors. Proofreaders are expected to be consistently accurate by default because they occupy the last stage of production before publication. After revising for purpose, you still have two levels of revision left: editing and proofreading. When you move on to editing, the emphasis is clarity. Then, once your sentence structure and language have been cleaned up, you move on to proofreading, where you check the accuracy of your spelling and grammar.
Editing Editing, like revising, is something that you will do throughout the writing process. Most of the editorial process will take place after you have worked out your final argument and organizational structure. Editing looks at your work on a sentence-by-sentence level, considering ways to make everything you say as clear and precise as possible.
Editing for Language With language, the overall question is whether you are using the most accurate language possible to describe your ideas. Be sure to check for the following. Precise vocabulary: Make sure every word means what you intend it to mean. Always use a dictionary to confirm the meaning of any word about which you are unsure.
Although the built-in dictionary that comes with your word processor is a great time-saver, it falls far short of college-edition dictionaries, or the Oxford English Dictionary OED.
If spell-check suggests bizarre corrections for one of your words, it could be that you know a word it does not. When in doubt, always check a dictionary to be sure. Defined terms: When using terms specific to your topic, make sure you define them for your readers who may not be familiar with them. If that makes the paragraph too cumbersome, consider using a different term. Properly placed modifiers: Make sure your reader can clearly discern what each adjective and adverb refers to.
Finally, pay attention to wordiness. Writing that is clean, precise, and simple will always sound best. Editing for Sentence Construction If you want to make everything easy for your audience to read and understand, start by simplifying your sentences. If you think a sentence is too complicated, rephrase it so that it is easier to read, or break it into two sentences.
Complicated is not a synonym for artistic! Consider how balanced your sentences are within a paragraph. Instead, vary your prose.
Editing for Style Editing for style is more difficult, because as writers gain practice they usually develop their own unique stylistic quirks.
Instead of thinking that you should write a certain way, what follows is general advice for the kinds of writing that can help or hurt your work. Think about how you use active and passive verbs. Often, rewriting a sentence to take it from passive to active will make it simpler and easier to read.
Consider the following sentences: Many of those who have held the office of governor of Illinois in the past twenty years have been met with charges of corruption due to political misdealings. Over the past twenty years, many Illinois governors have faced political corruption charges. The second is shorter, less wordy, and clearer.
In this case, changing from passive to active made a major improvement. Some sentences do read better with them. Another thing to look at with your verb use is parallelism—using the same pattern of words to provide balance in a sentence. If you are listing things, try to make them all the same part of speech. Proofreading Proofreading is the final stage of revision. Wait to begin this step when you are sure that you will not be changing anything else in your paper. Here are some of the things you should do every time you proofread: Check spelling.
Be alert for typos. Check punctuation. Make sure that you are using the correct formatting and citation style. Check that your verb tenses remain consistent. Try reading each page backward. Tips for Editing and Proofreading Know your errors. As you get used to revising, you will probably realize that there are some errors you make more frequently than others. Maybe you have a tendency toward wordiness.
Whatever your particular weakness is, you can pay special attention to it when revising. Secondly, take the time to do multiple re-readings. Start by going through for one particular kind of error, and only pay attention to that. Then choose another thing to focus on, and read your paper again. People are more capable of understanding words in context than word processors. Spelling error: The aim of proofreading is to catch surface mistakes in spelling, punctuation, formatting, etc.
Learning Objectives List questions you can use to self-evaluate your paper Key Takeaways Key Points Look one more time to make sure that you meet the criteria of the assignment and that you have taken care of all the changes you wanted to make.
Ask yourself if you think the paper is now finished, or if you still have things you want to improve upon. A final review after revisions will help you determine if your paper is ready to be turned in. Key Terms criteria: Standards for judgement or evaluation. After spending so long looking at your paper on the level of individual words and sentences, it can be helpful to return to the big picture.
Before you turn your paper in, read it over one more time. You do not have to look for specific problems. Just try to get a general sense of what your paper has turned into. What would you say to a peer if this were his or her paper instead of your own?
Does it have a clear thesis? Does the argument make sense? You can also try reading your paper out loud to see how it sounds. The purpose of a final review is not to prompt major changes, as you already addressed those when you revised for purpose. Instead, doing a final review will help you see how all the changes you made work together as a whole. This is also your last chance to make sure you meet the criteria of the assignment.
Are you still saying what you intended to say? Did you complete the task you set for yourself in the introduction? Look at how your argument has developed and whether you are happy with it. If you are, then congratulations—you can finally say that your paper is complete. Evaluating Your Process At this point, you can make a final assessment of your process.
The learning comes not only from your research and writing, but also from reflection about the process you went through. After you read your paper, ask yourself the following questions: How creative is the paper? If it feels a little bland to you, you might consider spending additional time using the prewriting activities the next time you write a paper. Does it feel like your best effort? Do you feel some disappointment when you read your paper, as if you know you could have done better?
Time is often a factor here. Where did you get tripped up? Looking back over the experience of writing, which parts of the process did you avoid? The longer and more in-depth you prewrite, the easier the drafting stage will be. If most of your ideas are already fleshed out in your prewriting, you can devote more brain power to things like spelling, sentence structure, and transitions.
Just because you have a jumble of ideas does not mean you are ready to write. It is important to finish the prewriting stage by then evaluating and organizing your ideas. Ask youself these questions about your prewrting: Do I have enough for a complete body paragraph here? Is everything focused and on topic? What are the weaker ideas? The pre-writing stage consists of all the work that is done before actual text production takes place.
In an early article on process-oriented writing, Rohman emphasised the importance of the pre-writing stage, describing it as "the stage of discovery in the writing process when a person assimilates his 'subject' to himself" p.
Time is often a factor here. You may work by yourself or with a partner or a group. Does everything in this paper work towards articulating or proving the thesis? The lack of contradiction can be defined in either semantic or syntactic terms. Is the argument fully explained? It needs to be evenly distributed and form a powerful whole.
He sits on the ground a few feet from the rubble, open-mouthed and barely breathing. Try reading each page backward. Revision: Revising ideas so that they are persuasive, cogent, and form a solid argument is the real work of writing. Letting Go Revising can be a metaphorical journey in letting go. Proofreading Proofreading is the final stage of revision. You may want to add pictures, make a class book, or read your work aloud.
Drafting In this stage, you write your ideas in sentences and paragraphs.
Learning Objectives List questions you can use to self-evaluate your paper Key Takeaways Key Points Look one more time to make sure that you meet the criteria of the assignment and that you have taken care of all the changes you wanted to make. What is the rule for using "a" versus "an"? Think about the sub-claims you will need to make to clarify and support your main argument. If your child can articulate those ideas with you orally, he will be a step ahead of doing no planning at all. What you see in print might not be much like the first plan for the book. Reading a printed page of text backwards is a good way to catch errors.
Resistant Prewriters Some children are highly resistant to planning. Take the same approach with your paper. Then title each of the four areas on the paper and fill in as many ideas as you can think of. Writing often feels demanding and difficult because you are doing two seemingly contradictory things at the same time: creating and containing. Does the information in this paragraph logically lead to the next one? You might find that what you thought was the central question is actually one of your arguments, and most of your lines come off a different bubble, which you can decide to make your thesis.
Similarly, you can recall images or stories used in other parts of the paper.
Ask youself these questions about your prewrting: Do I have enough for a complete body paragraph here? The introduction needs to be both interesting to the reader and a coherent guide to the paper.
Argumentation Is the thesis set up in a way that makes you care about it? It needs to be evenly distributed and form a powerful whole. It also builds in the time necessary for your brain to integrate the information and come up with new ways to present it.
Not all of the children chose to use one, but many did. Scholarly articles should be evaluated based on criteria such as thoroughness, credibility, and accuracy. Secondly, take the time to do multiple re-readings. As you find additional evidence, you may decide to create a new claim or even to tweak your thesis. Are you still saying what you intended to say? Most of the editorial process will take place after you have worked out your final argument and organizational structure.
Editing for Style Editing for style is more difficult, because as writers gain practice they usually develop their own unique stylistic quirks. Step 2: Researching Researching your subject is an important step in writing because it helps you narrow your focus. Things that made total sense while you were up to your eyebrows in work, might not make ANY sense when you've had time to distance yourself a little bit. Can you see all of the answers reflected in your writing? You may want to add pictures, make a class book, or read your work aloud.