The Writing Process: Editing

Contributor: Delaine Thomas. Lesson ID: 12092

Have you ever maked a mistake in your writing? Ooops, we mean, "MADE a mistake"! Mistakes are easy to make, and often hard to find. Editing is vital to writing the perfect piece, so learn the process!

categories

Writing

subject
English / Language Arts
learning style
Visual
personality style
Beaver
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio:

Have you ever taken something apart so that you could see how it works? If you think details are important, then you are going to enjoy editing. It is taking apart your writing so that you make sure every detail is in its correct place and is doing the job it was meant to do.

Editing is a very important part of the writing process.

If you have not yet completed, or wish to review, the previous Related Lessons in The Writing Process series, you can find them in the right-hand sidebar.

When you edit, you are fixing the grammar, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation mistakes in your writing. As you watch the Teaching Without Frills video, Editing Writing for Kids!, take notes — you will want to write down the definition of editing as well as the questions you should ask yourself during each step:

 

Let’s recap what you just watched.

When you edit your work, you are looking for mistakes in grammar, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation. You can use the questions the teacher in the video asked to help you check each area. Next, it is always a good idea to ask another person to check your work for any errors you may have missed. Then, you want to write a neat final copy and proofread it.


You are going to use the questions from the video to edit this paragraph:

do you like to go on a picnick. I love gong on a picnick Last summer we goed on one with our frends? we eats chiken and had wallermelon two! We plays Games with our frends til dark. Then we goed home

First, check the grammar. Look at the sentences and ask these questions:

  1. Do my sentences sound right?
  2. Did I use nouns and verbs correctly?

Look at the sentence, “Last summer we goed on one with our frends?” Is "goed" the correct verb?

If you said “No,” you are right. What word should we use instead of "goed"? Did you say, "went"? That’s correct!

The next sentence that has a grammar problem is, “we eats chiken and had wallermelon two!” There are two problems in the sentence. Do you see them?

First, we would say, "ate," not "eats." Did you catch that one? Then, the last word "two" is a number and not the correct word to use. We should use the word "too."

Another sentence with grammar problems is, “We plays Games with our frends til dark.” The word "plays" is not the correct verb. What should it be? Did you say, "played"? Terrific!

One last sentence has a grammar problem. The sentence says, “Then we goed home”. Is "goed" the correct word? No! We should say, “Then we went home."

Now, rewrite the paragraph so you can see the changes we have made so far:

do you like to go on a picnick. I love gong on a picnick Last summer we went on one with our frends? we ate chiken and had wallermelon too! We played Games with our frends til dark. Then we went home


The next step is to check the spelling in the paragraph. Use these questions:

  1. Did I spell sight words correctly?
  2. Did I use word chunks I know?
  3. Did I stretch out every word?

Are there any sight words that are misspelled? In the second sentence, the word "gong" should be "going." Also, in the fifth sentence, the word "til" should be "until."

What about other misspelled words? Are there any in the first sentence? Yes, "picnick" should be spelled "picnic." That word is also misspelled in the second sentence.

Are there any misspelled words in the third sentence? What about the word "frends"? Is that spelled correctly? No, it should be spelled, "friends." The same word is misspelled in the fifth sentence.

In the fourth sentence, there are two misspelled words. Do you see them? They are "chiken" and "wallermelon." "Chicken" is spelled with a "ck" not just a "k." "Wallermelon" actually has the "t" sound, right? It should be spelled "watermelon."

Is that all of our misspelled words? If so, we will rewrite the paragraph with the new corrections:

do you like to go on a picnic. I love going on a picnic Last summer we went on one with our friends? we ate chicken and had watermelon too! We played Games with our friends until dark. Then we went home


It is starting to look better! Next, check the capitalization using your questions:

  1. Did I capitalize the first word of every sentence?
  2. Did I capitalize the names of people and places?
  3. Did I capitalize the word “I”?
  4. Did I make all the other letters lowercase?

Look at the paragraph. Do all the sentences start with a capital letter? No! Which sentences need a capital letter? Yes, the first one needs a capital "D." The fourth sentence also needs a capital letter; it needs a capital "W." All of the other sentences begin with a capital letter.

Next, did I capitalize the names of people and places? There aren’t any special names of people or places in this paragraph.

Did I capitalize the word “I” in the paragraph? Yes I did!

Lastly, did I make all the other letters lowercase? No! The word “Games” should not be capitalized.

Take a look at the new paragraph now:

Do you like to go on a picnic. I love going on a picnic Last summer we went on one with our friends? We ate chicken and had watermelon too! We played games with our friends until dark. Then we went home


The last thing we need to check is punctuation.

Did I put a punctuation mark at the end of every sentence? Where does it need end punctuation? “I love going on a picnic” needs a period after picnic. There should also be one at the end of the last sentence, “Then we went home.”

Do the other punctuation marks match the type of sentence I wrote? Which sentence is incorrect? Did you say, "The first and the third"? You are right!

The first sentence should end with a question mark because "Do you like to go on a picnic" is a question. The third sentence should end in a period because "Last summer we went on one with our friends" is not a question.

The final paragraph should look like this:

Do you like to go on a picnic? I love going on a picnic. Last summer we went on one with our friends. We ate chicken and had watermelon too! We played games with our friends until dark. Then we went home.

Do you think the edited paragraph is an improvement? Tell your teacher or parent why you think so.

Now that you have made some edits, move on to the Got It? section to practice what you have learned.

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