This is the first time I have been asked to edit a paper.

What do I do?

Editing means analyzing:
  • CONVENTIONS: reexamine and make alterations to (written or printed matter)
  • CONVENTIONS/PUBLICATION: prepare (written material) for publication by correcting, condensing, or otherwise modifying it
  • SENTENCE FLUENCY: remove unnecessary or inappropriate words
  • WORD CHOICE: add in any missing words that help the sentences make sense

Revising means analyzing:
  • IDEAS: reconsider and alter (something) in the light of further information
  • WORD CHOICE/VOICE: alter so as to make more efficient or realistic
  • IDEAS: reread work done previously to improve one's knowledge of a subject
  • ORGANIZATION: choose material for and arrange it to form a coherent whole

Now let's get down to business...

  • Before you ask someone to edit be sure you have the following done:
    • Create a new page and name it as directed by the teacher. Always begin with the year you are in school (9, 10, 11 or 12) and the name of the assignment.
    • Copy and paste your writing assignment onto the wikipage.
    • Put in an empty line between each paragraph to make reading online easier.
    • Add a creative title for your essay. You should never title the essays by the name of the assignment.
    • Read through your own paper for word choice changes. Do you have any words that are bland and don't really paint a mental picture for the reader? (Dog is bland, rotweiler or chihuahua is more specific and paints a mental picture of that dog.) Have you used a lot of adjectives or shoudl you simply change the nouns for more specific nouns?
    • Read through your own article and edit for errors before you click save.
    • Do you have at least 5 -7 sentences in each paragraph (since most of your writing assignments this year are about 5 paragraphs long)?
    • Have you followed the directions set out by the teacher? Did you include everything you were asked to do?
  • The first time you are asked read another student's writing assignment, you will need to do a couple of simple tasks.
    • Ask the student for their wikispace address.
    • Click the "join" link and put in your username, password, email address, etc. to request permission to edit.
    • Then turn to the student and ask them accept your request so you can begin editing.
  • Now that you have joined their wikispace click the edit button.
  • Read through the writing assignment and simply fix any spelling errors, capitalization errors, and punctuation errors (commas, end punctuation, quotations marks, etc.). Also look for words that are missing, hard to understand, or extra. Fix those.
  • Now you are ready to read the writing assignment for a second time with revision in mind.
    • As you read, write down any questions you might have that the student did not answer as they wrote.
    • If you have a sentence that is confusing and you have to read it twice, then they may need to rewrite it to make it easier to understand.
    • Do any of the paragraphs need to be rearranged?
    • Do any of the paragraphs feel like they are unfinished? Should they have gone into more detail so their ideas would be more complete?
    • Go back and read through the directions for the assignment and then make sure they have done everything they were asked to do. If they missed something, please tell them.