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Edit Your Writing With This Checklist

~ The Final Stage In the Writing Process: Editing ~

Congratulations! You’ve gone through three stages of the writing process: did some prewriting, wrote a draft, revised it by making major changes to the essay, and now you have a complete essay! Well, almost...

Before you start celebrating, remember that it is not quite a finished product yet; there’s a bit more polishing to do first.

Although it is the final stage in the writing process, editing is important because it is the final look at your essay. This is your opportunity to look at everything at the sentence level, carefully combing through your writing piece by piece. Remember: with revision you are looking at the essay as a whole; however, with editing, you are looking at each individual sentence to determine whether it is clear, concise, and grammatically correct.

  • Revision = Look at the essay as a whole
  • Editing = Look at each sentence individually

While editing, it is helpful to read through the entire essay out loud so that you can hear any mistakes in your writing. If you pause or stumble over a word or phrase, it is probably because you have an error somewhere in the sentence. Make sure you read slowly so that you see every word. Don’t rely on spellcheck to correct every error — grammatical errors are even trickier to detect, so make sure you read carefully, looking for any mistakes.

Use this checklist to review the following areas while editing:

SENTENCE STRUCTURE

  • Fragments
  • Run-ons
  • Subject-Verb Agreement
  • Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement
  • Word Choice
  • Active Verbs
  • Dangling Modifiers
  • Parallelism

PUNCTUATION

  • Commas
  • Semi-Colons
  • Apostrophes
  • End Marks
  • Capitalization
  • Quotations

SPELLING

  • Easily confused words (where, wear)
  • Misspelled Words

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KKrawiec

RELATED READING

The 4 Stages In the Writing Process

Stage 1: What Is Prewriting and How Is It Done?

Stage 2: 5 Tips for Writing a First Draft

Stage 3: 4 Steps to Revising Your Writing