7 Tips to Quickly and Effectively Edit Your Writing | Writing
Whether you love to write or not, it’s important you’re prepared to turn out your best writing for the TASC Test Assessing Secondary Completion™.
To do this, it’s essential to practice your writing skills, such as:
- Supporting your central claim
- Improving your spelling
- Enhancing your vocabulary
- Eliminating wordiness
- Effectively writing transitions
- Using correct punctuation and grammar – such as semicolons and colons, ellipses and dashes, coordinate adjectives, verbs, etc.
As you continue to practice your writing, there is one last skill that will help you produce your best work: Editing. Even skilled, professional writers edit their work numerous times before they can say their book, article, or essay is finished.
As you study and prepare for the TASC test writing subtest, don’t forget to edit your work. Here are seven quick and effective editing tips that will help you transform your writing:
- When you feel like your writing is complete, quickly proofread to spot any:
- Missing words
- Misspelled words
- Run-on sentences
- Sentences that don’t make sense
- Areas that need more facts or information to make your central claim stronger
- Once you have identified and corrected these errors, slowly read through your writing a second time. Look to improve your writing in the following ways:
- Use strong verbs.
Matt Banner from Gammarly.com notes that some words can lessen what you’re trying to say. Using strong verbs will make your statements more concise and powerful. For example:
- Melody thought up a new recipe.
- Stronger: Melody created a new recipe.
- Remove extra punctuation.
- said it best: “A piece of writing littered with all sorts of punctuation — parentheses, colons, ellipses, etc. — doesn’t flow well.”
You can eliminate unnecessary punctuation by simply ending a sentence and starting a new one. Try this editing tip out and see how much stronger and concise it makes your writing.
- Eliminate filler words.
Matt Banner also notes that phrases like here is, it takes, and there will be take the focus away from important nouns in your sentences. For example:
- There are many people who go to the public pool.
- Without filler words: Many people go to the public pool.
- Simplify thoughts and sentences.
Long sentences tend to contain several ideas. When too many ideas are presented without a break (a period), readers can lose focus or interest in your central idea. Break sentences that contain several thoughts into separate sentences. For example:
- Last Friday night, we went to the drive-in movie theatre and it was packed, but we eventually found a spot in the back and we were able to view the movie without any car blocking us.
- Separating thoughts: Last Friday night, we went to the drive-in movie theatre. It was packed. We eventually found a spot in the back where we were able to view the movie without any car blocking us.
- Review your work one last time.
Once you have thoroughly reviewed your work by following each of these editing steps, read it one more time and turn it in feeling confident. The more you practice your editing skills, the more efficient and effective the process will become.
Have you assessed your grammar skills yet? Take the grammar writing recap quiz to test your knowledge in preparation for the TASC Writing subtest.