Why teach students to edit and revise their writing? In a nutshell, this important stage of the writing process gives students an opportunity to reflect on what they’ve written through a reader’s eyes. Taking the time to revise will ensure ideas are presented in an organized and easily readable way. Editing is just as important for clarity. If there are too many capitalization, grammar, punctuation and spelling errors, it will be difficult for a reader to make sense of the message. Here are some tips to help your students get into the habit of editing and revising their writing.
Editing vs. Revising. What’s the difference, and why does it matter?
Editing and revising are two very different steps of the writing process, but each is important in its own way.
- focuses on the writing piece as a whole
- Think of it as the big picture or main idea – everything that happens in the revision stage should clarify the main idea.
- more focused on line-by-line work
- What has to be changed in each sentence for it to make sense?
Help your students remember the difference between editing and revising with these helpful acronyms!
Revising = the big picture = FARMS
Editing = small details = CROPS
For Revision: FARMS – A Revision Checklist
Focus: What type of writing piece is this? Informational, narrative, poetry? Identify the focus of your piece and stick to it.
Add: Add in any words or ideas that could make the writing stronger.
Remove: Is there anything in this writing piece that doesn’t make sense? Remove clunky words and phrases to make the writing shine!
Move: Does the structure of the writing make sense? Try moving around a sentence or word to improve the writing.
Substitute: Replace weak adjectives with more expressive words.
For Editing: CROPS – An Editing Checklist
Capitalization: At the beginning of every sentence, proper names
Readability: Is the handwriting legible? Is the font color and size easy to read?
Organization: Is the thought expressed in the sentence clear and understandable for the reader?
Punctuation: At the end of each sentence, proper use of commas and quotation marks
Spelling: Proofread the piece, or have peers review work together. Use a dictionary or spell check when appropriate.
Create an editing and revising anchor chart in your classroom for student reference!
Set a Writing Goal
There are so many elements that make up a quality piece of writing. To revise and edit the whole piece at one time can be overwhelming to some students. Instead, break the necessary tasks down into smaller, achievable goals. Our Writing Goal Cards are the perfect way to keep student writing goals on track and organized! Use these as a quick way to set goals with kids during a writing conference – staple the goal to the piece the student is working on as a reminder.
They are the perfect companion to the No Prep Writing Prompts and make writing conferences a breeze!
The FREE Writing Goal Cards feature:
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Free Writing Prompts and Goal Cards
Keep a Checklist
What tasks does the learner need to accomplish with this writing? Keeping a visual checklist handy is a great reminder for visual learners! This is a great editing and revising tool. Download the useful Writing Checklist FREEBIE, or access excellent writing resources from the Lucky Little Toolkit.
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Lucky Little Toolkit
Free Writing Checklist
More Writing Tips
Take your students’ writing skills to the next level with these tips: