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Revising  Editing

Page history last edited by Wendy Rooney 1 year ago










Revising vs. Editing - I like the idea of having a visual showing that revising and editing overlap.







A. Edit to correct common capitalization, punctuation, and spelling errors.



  • a title used with a person’s last name (Mayor Lynch)

  • appropriate words in a title (A Tale of Two Cities)

  • proper nouns (Spain, Industrial Revolution, Kennedy High School) proper adjectives (English tea, German shepherd, Persian carpet) the first word in a direct quotation (She said, “They will know.”)





  • at the end of declarative and imperative sentences

  • at the end of an abbreviation

  • question marks (at the end of direct questions)



  • in compound sentences (I didn’t make the team this year, but I plan to try again next year.)

  • to separate a series of adjectives (The elephant is a large, powerful animal.)

  • to set off appositives (Seattle, the largest city, borders the Pacific Ocean.)

  • between city and state (Trenton, New Jersey)

  • before a direct quotation (Howard said, “Let’s go to my favorite restaurant.”)

  • to set off a name in direct address (Joel, will you help me?)

  • after an introductory word or group of words (Well, I’m not sure what to say.)

  • after introductory phrases (Frightened by the big dog, the child began to cry.)

  • after introductory clauses  (Before Lucy began to write her report, she went to the Media Center to do research.)

  • in a series of words, phrases, or clauses (My chores include walking the dog, cleaning my room, and washing the dishes.)

  • Use semicolons to separate independent clauses (The distance is long; the roads are poor.)



  • in possessives (the baby’s toys, the babies’ toys, Charles Dickens’s novels, theDickenses’ woes)

  • in contractions (she’s, aren’t, could’ve




  • before a list of words or phrases  (Passengers may order the following beverages: coffee, tea, juice, or milk.) (My parents asked me to do the following: walk the dog, wash the dishes, and clean my room.)


quotation marks

  • at the beginning and end of a direct quotation (He said, “We must work together to win.”)

  • enclosing the titles of articles, essays, short stories, and poems (“The Raven”)


B. Combine ideas into well-constructed sentences.

  • combine and expand sentences

  • construct compound and complex sentences


C. Organize and reorganize content to promote clarity of thought.

  • select a focus or controlling idea

  • support ideas with specific details and concrete examples

  • develop effective organizational strategies

  • logically relate content to topic, audience, and purpose

  • reorganize written text

  • reorganize sentence (or paragraph) order

  • add or insert sentences (and/or paragraphs)


D. Revise to correct nonstandard or awkward usage.


  • incorrect and inconsistent verb and pronoun usage

  • subject-verb agreement (A flock of birds is overhead.)

  • pronoun-antecedent agreement (Everyone must carry his or her backpack.)

  • tense formation (appropriate tense, proper form of irregular verbs)

  • a subject pronoun is used as a subject (Dorothy and I went shopping.)

  • an object pronoun is used as an object (Were you standing between Jeff and me?)

  • a possessive pronoun shows possession (Carry your bag.  Give the dog its bone.)

  • incorrect use of modifiers and modifying phrases

  • wordy or imprecise language


E. Revise to correct nonstandard sentence construction.

sentence fragments and run-on sentences

• incorrect use of parallel structure or absence of parallelism

• incorrect coordination and/or subordination of ideas


F. Use transition words to reinforce a logical progression of ideas


Transitional Words and Phrases:


Comparing Ideas / Classification and Definition:

Also, another, similarly, and, moreover, too


Contrasting Ideas / Classification and Definition:

although, in spite of, but, instead, still, however, nevertheless, yet, on the other hand


Showing Cause and Effect / Narration:

as a result, for, so, that, because, since, therefore, consequently, so


Showing Time / Narration:

After, eventually, next, at last, finally, then, at, once         first, thereafter, before, meanwhile, when


Showing Place / Description:

Above, beyond, into, across, down, next, around, here, over, before, in, there, behind, inside, under


Showing Importance / Evaluation:

First, mainly, then, last, more important, to begin with




  • If you are writing about literature or a subject that involves infrequent use of numbers,

spell out numbers written in one or two words  (one, thirty-six, ninety-nine, one hundred, fifteen hundred, two thousand, three million, one-half)

represent other numbers with numerals (2½, 101, 137, 1,275).


  • If your report calls for frequent use of numbers — for example, a scientific or statistical paper, use numerals for all numbers that precede units of measurement (16 amperes, 5 milliliters).


  • Use numerals for numbers that are presented together and that refer to similar things, such as in comparisons or reports of experimental data. Spell out other numbers if they can be written in one or two words.

In the ten years covered by the study, the number of participating institutions in the United States doubled, reaching 90, and membership in the six-state region rose from 4 to 15.


  • For very large numbers, use a combination of numbers and words: 17million 1.5 billion


  • For sentence beginnings use words, not numerals: Nineteen students had brown hair.


  • Use numerals for numbers in the following forms:

  • money .................................... $1.50

  • decimal ....................................98.6

  • percentage ..............................50%

  • page .............................. pages 12-21

  • chapter ............................. chapter 5

  • address ..................... 701 Hill Street

  • date ....................................... June 6

  • time ................................... 3:30 p.m.

  • statistic .................. a score of 5 to 2

  • abbreviation ............................ 6 lbs.


  • Express related numbers in the same style (Only 5 of the 250 delegates attended.)




  • Underlinethe titles of books, publications, radio and television programs, films, and works of art.

Book — The Pearl ,  Magazine — Merlyn’s Pen ,  Painting — Mona Lisa, Newspaper — The New York Times , TV show — General Hospital, Play — Hamlet, Long poem — The Iliad, Movie, Jurassic Park, Ship — Titanic, Software — Word 6.0 , Opera — The Marriage of Figaro


  • Enclose in “quotation marks” the titles of short stories, articles, essays, short poems, and songs.

Short story — “The Lottery” • Essay — “Common Sense”

Short poem — “The Road Not Taken” • Song — “America, the Beautiful”


  • Capitalize the first and last words of the title and all important words. Do not capitalize prepositions and conjunctions of fewer than four letters.  

Alice in Wonderland,  “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”,  “I Have a Dream”





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