Editing is typically one of the most difficult stages of the writing process for students because it requires so much attention to detail. For many children the task can be overwhelming simply because they are asked to look for so many different types of mistakes at the same time, such as those involving capitalization, punctuation, paragraphing, dialogue, and spelling. A few years ago I came up with a new approach that breaks down the complex task of editing into smaller, more manageable steps. Since that time my students have become more willing, more enthusiastic, more successful editors of their own writing. I call my approach “Four-Color Editing.” Each student needs a four-color ballpoint pen and an Editing Checklist. I have included four versions of the Editing Checklist in this file. Each version of the checklist is divided into four different sections, with each section corresponding to a specific color of the pen. With each color of the pen, students look for a specific type of mistake.
Editing Checklists to Use with the 4-Color Pen Approach
by Steve Reifman
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