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Editing Your Writing

Your writing is not finished after revision. You must still edit your work. The purpose of editing is to find any remaining mistakes in mechanics that you might have overlooked while writing and revising. While the following list does not include every rule on mechanics, it provides the basic ones and makes a good guide for proofreading.

  1. Is the ending punctuation correct?
  2. Are commas used correctly?
  3. Are there any run-on sentences or sentence fragments?
  4. Are semicolons used to join independent clauses in a sentence?
  5. Have I used each word correctly?
  6. Have I correctly cited sources and punctuated the citations correctly?
  7. Are verb tenses correct? Is the use of tenses consistent (no unnecessary shifts between past, present, and future)?
  8. Are proper nouns, proper adjectives, and the beginning of sentences capitalized?
  9. Are paragraphs indented?
  10. Is spelling correct throughout the piece?
  11. Are italics used for the titles of books, plays, and movies, and the names of newspapers and magazines?
  12. Are all of my sentences clear, concise, and coherent?

English Language Arts Standards and Rubrics
California State Stardards (PDF file in link)