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Writing Process: Editing Resources
helping students become competent editors of their own writing

Editing is separate from revision. This is a topic we passionately discuss at many of the Northern Nevada Writing Project's inservice classes for teachers.

Why? We visit writers workshops, and we ask students what step of the writing process they are currently working on. If a student says, "I'm revising," we bend down and ask for specifics details. Too often, the student explains how he or she is checking their spelling and writing a neater draft. This is editing, not revision, and many of our students don't know the difference, even in classrooms where the process has clearly been taught.

Author Vicki Spandel understands this dilemma too. In fact, she has developed an entire series of grade-specific resources designed to clearly show students the difference between the acts of editing and revising. Mini-lessons for both steps of the writing process are provided in these books, and they help students see the difference. If you haven't checked out her Creating 6-Trait Revisers and Editors series, you should. She has a version for second grade, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade (pictured at right), sixth grade, seventh grade, and eighth grade.

One goal we have in Northern Nevada is to--someday soon--bend down and ask a student who claims to be revising a paper what strategies he/she is working on and to not hear about things done in the editing step of the process. We want our students to differentiate and value these two separate steps of the writing process.

On this page at WritingFix, we share resources and ideas specific to editing. Be sure to check out our revision page, if those are the types of resources you are actually looking for.

Want to participate in this developing WritingFix page? If you have a favorite original lesson or tool for teaching your students to edit that you would be willing to let us post here, we will send you one of the NNWP Print Publications in exchange for us being allowed to feature it. Contact us at webmaster@writingfix.com for details or to summarize a editing idea/tool that you'd be willing to send us.

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An Editing Resource from the NNWP's
Going Deep with 6 Trait Language Guide:

Editing Resources from the NNWP's
Elementary
Writing Guide

In 2006, the Northern Nevada Writing Project (who sponsor this website) published a resource for teachers who wanted to make trait language the language of their writing instruction. The Going Deep with 6 Trait Language Guide is distributed to all teachers in Northern Nevada who take one of the NNWP's trait-based inservice classes or workshops. Outside Northern Nevada, any teacher can purchase a copy of this 196-page guide through the NNWP's webpage, and proceeds from those sales go to build new free-to-use resources at WritingFix.

One of the most popular resources from the guide's Conventions module is the "Community of Editors" description written by Corbett Harrison. It discusses the importance of teaching your students to competently identify their own personal strength in the trait of conventions, then to offer to edit for that one strength for their fellow classmates' drafts.

In 1995, Teacher Consultants from the Northern Nevada Writing Project worked together to create the NNWP's first print guide for teachers: The Elementary Writing Guide. The Washoe County School District generously agreed to print thousands copies of this resource to distribute among every elementary teacher in Northern Nevada's largest county.

In 2000, the EWG underwent a revision, which aligned the guide's original content to Nevada's new academic standards. The same happened to the SWG in 2004.

In 2007, the guide was printed for the last time. The rising price of paper inspired the NNWP to began posting the guide's contents on-line here at WritingFix.

Below, you will find four editing resources from the now out-of-print Elementary Writing Guide.

  • An Introduction to Editing an explanation of the editing process and two example editing exercises from the guide
  • Editing Symbols a page of editing symbols to share with students and an example exercise that asks students to practice with the symbols
  • Editing Sheets four different editing sheets you can use with your students when they are editing each other's or their own drafts
  • Additional Editing Tips a page of additional tips to make editing a useful and easy process in your classroom
  • High-Frequency Word Bookmarks a great tool to help your kids easily check their spelling

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Please, share the resources you find on these pages freely with fellow educators, but please leave any page citations on handouts intact, and please give authorship credit to the cited teachers who created these wonderful lessons and resources. Thanks in advance for honoring other educators' intellectual property.

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