Quick Fix- Editing Checklist
Grammar, Spelling, Word Choice Corrections
Examples and Details
I have eliminated the vast majority of contractions in my paper.
Dont do not
Theyre, its, isnt, AND ALL OTHERS are gone
I sound sophisticated and am making scholarly word choices.
I dont use vague words like big, small, good, bad, and so forth.
Like such as OR for example
I dont use absolutes unless theyre actually true
All most or many
No one very few people or a small minority of people
Every time in the majority of cases
When I create a list (three or more items), I use parallelism.
Parallelism is when all the parts of the list are the same part of speech.
Incorrect: In order to fix the achievement gap we must raise the standards of becoming a teacher, require early childhood education, and giving money to the schools.
Correct: In order to fix the achievement gap we must raise the standards of becoming a teacher, require early childhood education, and redistribute money to the schools
Self Editing (aloud)
Choose two or three paragraphs and read them aloud. Is there a good flow? Do they sound completely correct? Am I missing words or word endings? Do I sound formal and scholarly? Do I sound confident? You can partner with someone to read aloud if that helps.
Circle the first word of every sentence.
Within a paragraph, no two sentences should start with the same word. Change them if they do.
No two paragraphs in your essay should start with the same word, change them if they do.
Sentence fragments check the ENTIRE paper
Every sentence must have a subject and a verb.
If Microsoft word is underlining your sentence in squiggly green, its a fragment.
Fragment: International gang violence that affects the whole world.
Fixed: International gang violence affects the whole world.
Commonly confused/misused words
Its vs. its
Its = it is
Its is possessive something belongs to it. Ex: the luggage broke its wheel.
Theyre, there, their
Theyre = they are
There = location. Ex: Over there
Their = possessive, belongs to them. Ex: they lost their passports.
Too, two, to
Too = excess Ex. Too much or too many
Two = 2
To = infinitive of verbs or mark of location Ex: I love to shop. I go to the mall.
Affect (verb) vs. Effect (noun)
Passive versus active voice each paragraph has more active verbs than passive.
Active: Chaucer wrote the Canterbury Tales. (Person does action)
Passive: The Canterbury Tales were written by Chaucer. (Object receives action)
Transitions between ideas, sentences, evidence and paragraphs are the key to good writing. Use connecting words often and mix up your transitions to guide your reader through your argument.
Paragraph starters First, next, then, In addition
Internal paragraph transitions for example, therefore, however
Use more dynamic transitions by linking between paragraphs
Show addition: Also, furthermore, moreover, indeed, in fact
As examples: for instance, specifically, consider, as an illustration
To elaborate: actually, in other words, ultimately, in short
To compare: likewise, similarly, in the same way
To contrast: on the other hand, despite, conversely, nevertheless
To show cause and effect: hence, accordingly, consequently
Concession: admittedly, granted, naturally, although it is true
Conclusion: as a result, in sum, thus, to summarize, to sum up