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The Importance of Finished and Edited Texts

writingThe NCTE Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing, written by the Writing Study Group of the NCTE Executive Committee, pinpoints 11 key issues in the effective teaching of writing. Over the next few weeks, we will unpack each one. This week, we will look at:

“Conventions of finished and edited texts are important to readers and therefore to writers.”

Teachers should be familiar with techniques for teaching editing and encouraging reflective knowledge about editing conventions. The following resources from NCTE and ReadWriteThink.org can help.

Help students make the most of their writing by teaching them about revising and editing, two important parts of the writing process. Once students begin to understand that revising and editing are different but equally important–and that they don’t have to happen at the same time–they are ready to go back over a piece of writing and, with guidance, make it even better!

Editing Checklist for Self- and Peer Editing”, a helpful tool from ReadWriteThink.org, will give students the opportunity to edit their own writing and then observe as their peers edit the same work.

Editing is a powerful tool for writers, but are our methods of teaching it really demonstrating that power for young adolescents? The author, frustrated with students’ inability to edit, works to develop a more effective system and offers a front row seat to “the express-lane edit” in action in his sixth-grade classroom.

Once a piece of writing has been revised and major changes have been made, writers edit to make certain that readers won’t be confused or distracted by unintentional errors. Read on for tips for middle and secondary students so they can begin editing a piece of writing!

Revising Editing” shows how an editing assignment emphasizing punctuation can help students in a first-year writing class discover new ideas and perspectives as part of the revision process.

How do you use the NCTE Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing in your classroom?