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Aug 03
admin's picture

Questions for Editing

Editing your piece of writing is not about making sure the grammar or spelling is correct (save that for when you proofead the draft that for you is final); it's about making sure that the content is at its full potential.

In your first big edit of a piece of work, you want to make sure that you know -- and are conveying -- the main point, as in why you're writing this piece. It may take a few revisions to fully unearth the main concept. (Remember: The secret to good writing is revision!)

To help yourself with the big things, consider some of these questions as you go over your piece. It's always easier to write more than you need and cut it later than it is to scramble and add more at the last minute. (Hint: On your first big edits do NOT worry about the little stuff; read it through, then ask the questions.) 

Aug 01

Home -- Setting Tone

Sometimes the setting of your community story can establish the tone of the piece.

Sometimes the setting of your community story can establish the tone of the piece.

This challenge has two parts. First a quick write. And then RESPOND again with something more relevant to your community story efforts. The point is this: setting can often set the tone for a story, particularly if you use sensory detail, that is how a place sounds, or looks, or feels or smells.

  1. Look at the pictures above. Choose one that grabs you (or amuses you). Look at the details and imagine what it's like to live there. Imagine. Now, in 7 minutes and writing as quickly as you can, write about living in this house or coming upon this. How weird it is. How inconvenient it is. How cool it is. But try to use the house to set the tone. If you want to make the house spooky, go for it; if you want to make-believe you are a high flyer and have a mansion, fashion your story around that aspect. But set the tone. Go wild. Make up a story.
    1. Comment on several classmates' posts and see how they handled it. 
  2. The second part of this is to write about your own home. Click the RESPOND button on this challenge a second time and describe the setting of your home. Set the tone with specific detail; your home figures into your sense of community, help us, the readers, understand what your home is like. Incorporate photos into your post.
    1. Comment on several classmates' posts and see how they handled it. 

Credits: The original photographer and copyright of the photos in this slideshow are extremely difficult to determine since many have been appropriated and put on pinterest.com and twitter.com; using google image search yields, in most cases, more than 20 million results; blocking pinterest and other sites still did not yield the origin in most cases. Since these photos are being used on a limited basis for educational purposes, YWP would ask that none be made public and that they remain in use only in these private classrooms. That said, a few origins were discovered: luxury house with a pool: http://www.highcorkett.com/30-pelican-point-new-luxury-listing/. House with tree roots: cover art of Bon Jovi album, This House Not for Sale, a black and white image by photographer Jerry UelsmannUpside down house Via curious-places. Wreck of a house, clip art from https://scoopposts.info


Oscar creeped towards the creepy house. It was clear that Stackpole and McGee had been there, and that it had been abandoned only recently. The 'roots' were huge for a tree, and had been undoubtedly been chopped decades ago. It could of very well been built from the wood of it's bases former occupant. Oscar shuffeled into the abandoned fort, and what was inside discusted him.  Wooden chairs wit some legs missing and a stone table laid crumpled in a corner. The whole shack reeked of rotten eggs, and the creaky floorboards and walls felt as if they had been greased an hour ago. Oscar manuevered the rickety wooden staircase, for some of the stairs were missing. When he finally got upstairs, the view was no better. The windows were shattered beyond repair, and the shutters were riddled with holes, and a couple of them were hanging on one hinge, or fallen off altogether! Geez! Was there a raid here or something? Oscar thought. Little holes and broken windows? Good grief!  There was a bucket in the corner of the room filled with- eew! thats what the smell was! that's disgusting! Oscar fled the house afterwards, for the smell of human waste was unbearable.
Jul 31

Advice from a Friend -- Editing 1

Use multiple editing stratagies to help revise your My Community pieces. 

Use one of your My Community pieces that you have not yet edited for this exercise. Analyze your own strategy, the strategies of others, and make a new revision strategy.  

1. Think about how you usually edit your writing -- not the grammar and spelling, but large revisions like adjusting the structure, checking for clarity, honing your point (thesis). Write down your own process; what works best for you? 
2. Ask two friends how they go about editing. Write down their processes. Do the same with a teacher. 
3. Look at all of the processes you have gathered. Did you pick up some ideas? Which do you like best? Would a combination of them all work best as your editing process/ strategy?
4. Make a new editing process from what you have gathered, and start revising your My Community piece. 

Reflect: Do you think your new strategy is better than your original? 

[Creative Commons Lisence: Flixelpix David, non-commercial, https://www.flickr.com/photos/flixel/]

Jul 31

Group Editing

This is an activity you can do with your class to help you revise the big trouble areas in your writing. 

This is a revision activity you could do with your class on a My Community piece you need to edit. It will help you get a better idea of what you should look for when you are editing, and it will give you a better idea of what you struggle with in your own writing. 

First, with your class, make a list of things you typically revise in writing. Example: consistent thesis, clarity, smooth transitions, redundancy, order, length, etc. Avoid things such as grammar and typos. Focus on the big ideas in the editing process. 

Second, look for each of these items in your class list in your own writing. Do you need to revise some of these areas? All of these areas? Keep track of what you think you need to do. 

Third, give your piece to two friends in your class. Using the class list, have them look for the areas they think you need to work on. 

Finally, compare the three lists. What were the similar areas that need to be worked on? Focus on those, and have a conversation with your two friends about what you need to revise. Each of your friends should come up with one solution to each problem area. With these trouble areas and possible solutions in mind, start revising. 

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang]

Jul 28
Grace's picture

Editing Process

Editing and revising a piece can be one of the hardest parts of writing. Yet, it is one of the most important stages of writing. Here is a suggested process to help you organize yourself when editing. 

1. Read your piece to yourself to find big problems. 
       When editing, let yourself be the first set of eyes. ONLY look at big picture items. Things such as topic/theme consistency, relevancy, clarity, voice, tone, imagery, order, message, and length are often looked at in this stage. If you are writing a narrative, or if you have a person in your story, you'll often consider the person's voice or character consistency throughout. 
       This is the point where you will often cut sentences or paragraphs, change the order, rewrite entire sections of your piece, or change your wording to make your piece more clear. BIG things are happening.