The Writing Process

level i

level I

This page updated: 2/28/2020

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Revising & Editing: One or Two Things?

The Goal:  


You will use MI Write to complete the revise & edit stages of the writing process.   

Main Idea:

Leisure Time

Essential Question: 

What leisure-time activity do you do that puts you in a good place?

Your topic sentence:  

______ always puts me in a good place, that's why I do this during leisure time.

Your conclusion/clincher sentence may look something like this:

I am in a good place when I have leisure time because I can ___. I wonder if I will do these/this same thing when I'm old?


Remember our video from the first lesson?  We learned the stages of the writing process.   Watch the video again.  Around 1:38 you will review revise & edit, so be ready to pause the video and review this section a few times. 

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Revising & Editing:  One Thing or Two?

In the video, revising and editing appear to be two separate tasks, yet when we talk about them here, they are always lumped together.  So are they one thing or two?

Let's review the definitions: 

To revise means to improve an idea or thought in writing.  When you revise, you might move whole sections of text, improve sentence structure, or choose better words.

To edit writing means to correct spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, etc.  Another word for editing is "proofreading."

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While the words show two separate tasks, because we use MI Write, the actual completion of these tasks often blend and overlap.  As writers, we have to remain aware that both tasks are important, but each deals with a separate concept:

Revision = Improving

Editing = Correcting

When talking about the writing scaffold, you may hear me say, "Don't worry about spelling, we will take care of that later."  The reason I say this because you need to improve your ideas first.  That's why revision comes first in the process.  You want your mind to focus on these questions:

  • Do my ideas logically flow from one to the next?

  • Does my writing make sense from beginning to middle to end?

  • Does my idea develop enough so that my conclusion sentence seems like a natural ending?

These questions need to be asked over and over when revising.  Remember, the reader is not in your head, so you must be clear when you write.  

Once you start feeling statisfied with the development and organization of your idea, you can start catching "mistakes" in 

  • Spelling 

  • Word choice (there? their?)

  • Using the BEST word (eliminate overused words by using the Thesaurus)

  • Punctuation & Capitalization (double check your use of commas!)

  • Grammar (including making sure the writing is in the same tense - past, present)

  • Style/Voice (what attitude are you presenting to the reader?)

  • Format (new ideas = new paragraphs; make sure there are no gaps between text lines, etc.)

It helps a great deal when you can revise and edit with a partner.  They will see things you might miss.  Over time, you will need less and less help at this stage, and you can gain feedback from others once you've revised and edited on your own.  But for now, look to a parent or teacher to give you a second pair of eyes on your work.

MI Write

Our next lesson will deal with helping you revise and edit using MI Write.