This is a unique method for testing students’ editing knowledge. Instead of merely asking them to edit a passage, you will be requiring them to explain their corrections and assess their knowledge. I advise using this after the students have had extensive practice with a particular aspect of grammar, mechanics, or usage. For example, if the student is unfamiliar with comma splices or introductory dependent clauses or introductory participial phrases or appositives, you would not want to use this document as the introduction and practice exercise for a new topic. Rather, I designed these exercises to help “maintain skills and knowledge.” Here is how the process works:
1) Hand out the passage. Ask the students to edit it IN PENCIL. You might want to go over editing marks first: circle periods and commas; three underlines for capitalization; right downward slash to indicate lower case; et cetera.
2) Hand out the complementary table that tells the proper corrections to make. Have the students, in shorthand, write the explanations for the corrections that need to be made IN PENCIL. You might want to have students work in pairs for this. More than likely, there will be questions or items that they need to leave blank. This is a good time to circulate and/or work individually with struggling students.
3) Once most seem to be finished, go over the answers—on the board, with a document camera, with a Smartboard, et cetera. The students will need to follow closely as in essence they are creating their study guide. They should alter their worksheet to reflect the right explanation. I included a key for this.
4) After a number of days, administer the quiz. Notice that the editing passage is the same (or almost always the same). The questions assess the student’s knowledge of why the changes were made to the passage. I included a key for this.
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