Editing & Revising You mean they are different??
Let’s see, what do you already know about editing… • If I asked you what does, “editing” mean, what would you say? • According to dictionary.com, “editing” means: to revise or correct, as a manuscript. • Not very helpful, since I just told you they are different! • For our purposes, when I ask you to EDIT, I am asking you to make changes with your grammar and conventions. Think: punctuation, verb tense, grammar, etc. • This is often where you see a lot of “red marks” on papers because they are mistakes about the way you have edited—or rather NOT edited—your paper.
What about revising? • What do you know about revising? • This time dictionary.com was a little bit more helpful since they define it as: to alter something already written or printed, in order to make corrections, improve, or update. • For our purposes, revising is the refining or bettering of your paper. It isn’t as much about the conventions as it is about the: • Re-ordering/restructuring/etc. of your words to make them sound more logical, sophisticated, etc. • Selecting better word choice to bring your ideas alive to your reader • Making sure that you have gone deeper in your thinking • Etc. • The revision part is probably one of the most critical steps in the writing process…and one of the most underused in seventh grade writing (usually).
How can I edit and revise? • There are many different ways to edit and revise, but I have found that many students think that simply reading over their paper one more time will suffice. • So NOT true! • There are many different ways to edit and revise, but I am going to offer THREE to use so that you can try using some of these in your writing today.
Tip #1: Using a “fresh pair” of eyes • This means that you take a MINIMUM of an hour (preferably a day or two, when possible) where you do not even think about or look at your paper. • When you come back to it at a later time/day, reread it to see how the words look and hear how they sound. • We are going to try this out. Find a written assignment that you have—from any class—that is about a paragraph long. This is an assignment that should be from an earlier time or day than 2nd hour today. • Once you have found this assignment, reread it with a “fresh pair” of eyes. Count how many changes you would make if you were to redo it.
Tip #2: Using the “dot & say” method • This is where you read your paper out loud (audibly, but not obnoxiously) and you place a dot over each word as you read it. • The point of this method is to hear words that you have skipped, misused; phrases, words or sentences that sound awkward and/or do not give words the right shade of meaning, etc. • Locate another assignment, with the same guidelines as last time, and use this method. Count how many changes you would make if you were to fix/redo it!
Yup, it’s just how it sounds… There was once a time in my life when there was nothing sweeter than the feel of the wind in my hair...the thrill of a pop-a-wheelie...passing the other kids in the street as I raced by on my sisters hand-me-down 1984 pink Huffy. All of this came crashing down--literally--around the time I was 14. After one too many spills on the newly paved bike path and the loss of the chain on my relatively new Murray (Toys R Us special), the bike was hung up for the winter and has remained in my parents's garage ever since.
Tip #3: Read backward • This sounds weird, but if often helps with papers that heavily sequenced and/or require very organized, chronological information. • The way that this works is that you read each sentence out loud, but you start with the LAST sentence and work backward. See how this works. • Same instructions as before, but with a new assignment. • Count ‘em! How many changes would you make?
Begin at the end… As we were driving through the upscale neighborhoods, all too soon, the reality of what I was about to attempt began to truly sink in. The beauty of the brightly shining sun and the cloudless blue sky seemed to mock me as I started to picture what was about to happen. Even the upscale houses and pretentious shopping areas seemed to laugh at me.
Application • When you submit your practice essay on Friday, one of the things that I will be looking for is that your essay was clearly edited AND revised. • How will I know if you did this? • Easy. If you have any noticeable errors, I will know that you did not spend the necessary time on this step of the writing process.