Editing Resources

It’s time to unlock the door and let the editor back into the room. And guess what? This time, the editor should escort the writer to the door! The editor needs to be critical of the draft.

Revision vs. editing

Some lists of the writing process make revising and editing two separate steps. Revising is the high-level work: Clarifying your topic, revising your thesis statement, organizing your supporting points, and creating transition sentences. Editing is more about the grammar, mechanics, readability, and clarity.

The OWL at Perdue website describes the CARS approach to revising your draft:

Quick tip: 

Read the first paragraph and last paragraph of your draft. Are they basically about the same topic? Or or did you discover your real topic in the last paragraph? That happens a lot! Move your last paragraph to the top and revise accordingly!

Microsoft Word as an Editing Tool

You may like the convenience of using Google docs on your phone or tablet. But for academic editing, Microsoft Word has lots of advantages! As a Peru State student, you have a free subscription to MS Word 365. Here’s what you can do, even if you don’t have a computer:

·      Go to one of the computer labs on campus.

·      Open a new Word document and load the contents of your draft.

·      Turn on the Editor function.

o   Red squiggles indicate spelling errors. Put your cursor on the error.  If you agree with the suggested spelling, fix it.

o   Blue underlines indicate grammar errors. Highlight each error. If you agree with the suggested revision, fix it.

o   If you’ve made the same spelling error multiple times, you can use the Find and Replace feature to fix all the errors quickly.

·      Highlight a section of the draft and use the Readability function to check your work.

o   Reading ease should be at least 50%.

o   Your grade level should be at Grade 9 or 10. If it’s higher, look at breaking up long paragraphs. Shorten some long sentences. Delete filler words like “very.”

o   If you have a high percentage of passive sentences, turn them to active voice to improve your readability.

Note: There are several versions of Microsoft Word. If you have problems using the MS Editor and readability tools, the WRAP Center can help.

Grammarly is a free editing/proofreading tool that you can use on all your applications—email, Google Docs, Word documents and even Whatapp messages. But remember: You are the owner of the document. Make sure you agree with Grammarly’s suggestions before you approve them!