The Importance of Being Edited

If you’re in language classes, you’re #1 grade maker or breaker will be whether you decide to take a second look at the papers you turn in.  The bad news is that editing is a skill that you have to learn…(wait!  When is learning a new skill EVER a bad thing?) And, like any new skill, the more you do it, the better you get at it.

There’s more good news though:  you’re not alone.  Everyone has to edit.  No one’s work turns out perfect the first time.  Some people are better at editing, but their clear and cohesive writing doesn’t mean their assignments didn’t take time and work.

Here are some tips for editing:

  • Peer Editing.  If you’re in a class, have a fellow student read over your paper and make suggestions or corrections. Don’t be embarrassed about sharing your work.
  • Ask an Instructor.  I don’t know a single teacher worth their salt who won’t give a little extra when needed.  Act quickly, though.  I recommend asking for help in advance and not after the due date.
  • Sleep.   Yes!  Write your assignment at least 1 day before it’s due, go to bed, and re-read it while you have your morning coffee.   A fresh mind will spot the mistakes you made the day before.

The most important asset you have with writing assignments is time.  Use it wisely to reflect on your work, decide what you want to include, and most importantly to look it over and make changes before it’s due.  If you don’t care enough about your writing to read it, why should anyone else?

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