Proofreading. What a pain.
You finish your essay and think you’re through with it, but, no. Now you have to proofread it.
It turns out that writing and proofreading are two separate skills. In fact, they use two different parts of your brain and should be done at different times.
To take this a step further, when I proofread, I print off the article and edit it at the kitchen table, far from where I wrote it. This helps me separate the writing process from the work of editing, and I catch more mistakes that way.
Write your essay. Let it rest a day or two. Then come back to it with a new perspective on what you wrote. It’s much easier to find your mistakes that way.
To practice proofreading, it’s also much easier to find someone else’s mistakes than your own. With that in mind, I’ve posted a letter to the editor written by a high school student who also happens to be a cheerleader.
Before you read this letter, understand that any number of teens could have written this poorly the first time around, before a good proofreading session. I’m not hatin’ on cheerleaders here.
Now it’s your turn: Read the following letter to the editor completely through one time to get an idea of what this teen is trying to convey to her audience. Then get out a colorful pen and proofread the letter. Use correct proofreading marks. Here are the proofreading marks. Help this gal express her message more clearly.
FYI, there are many correct ways to fix this letter. The way you correct it may be different from the way a friend edits it.
Click here to get and print off the letter: PROOFREAD THIS LETTER TO THE EDITOR. There’s plenty of room between the lines to give you space for corrections. And, believe me, you are going to need it.
Copyright © 2015 by Sharon Watson
Slightly edited letter to the editor, Kokomo Tribune, August 2002
Original image courtesy of stockunlimited.com
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Help your struggling writers—and you!—by identifying five hurdles to writing. Then learn practical actions you can take against those hurdles.
This article by me in The Old Schoolhouse magazine is also loaded with links to other helpful posts that will give you and your writers some welcome relief.
Click here to drain some of the tension from your writing class
Frustrated that your students don’t finish an essay or don’t know the steps to complete one? Worry no more! Click here for my latest article in The Informer about a super-practical writing schedule you WILL use!
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|Check out the innovative The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School for your complete high school writing curriculum needs. If you have a storyteller at home, try Writing Fiction [in High School] with hundreds of examples from popular fiction and classical literature.|
Get your middle school student ready for high school with this popular writing curriculum from Writing with Sharon Watson, published by Apologia! Featured in Cathy Duffy’s 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum, Jump In will prepare and even amuse your students as they learn the fundamentals of effective essay writing and storytelling.
Photo © Galina Barskaya, Dreamstime Stock Photos.