3 Quick Editing Tips

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Writing should be a three part process – planning, writing and editing.  The editing stage is often the most difficult.  To be effective, editing often requires more time than the original writing process and needs to occur several times, each time having a different focus.

Here are 3 quick tips for older students to help improve the literary quality of their writing.

 

1. Reduce the number of words

Look at each sentence individually and try to rearrange the sentence to reduce the number of words.

For example: 

Change: It is fun to go swimming.
To: Swimming is fun.

2. Use powerful verbs

Think of synonyms to replace boring verbs with ‘powerful verbs’.  Often this process is helped by thinking about how the person is feeling or moving.

For example:

Change: He went to school.
To: He rode to school.

Change: “My car is broken,” said the boy.
To: “My car is broken,” wailed the boy.

3. Include emotional adjectives

Add adjectives that elicit an emotion to help build a picture in the readers mind.

For example:

Change: The boy spat on the ground.
To: The disgusting boy spat on the ground.

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