This course supplements the four-level series for students who wish to upgrade their writing for further education or improved employment opportunities. It is designed for students who have experience writing paragraphs and short essays and some control of grammar and sentence structure, but who still make consistent errors in language use. Students will develop strategies for editing and proofreading their own work. Working with short academic writing composition samples, students will practice identifying problems and errors in language use, editing for style, conciseness and accuracy, and proof-reading for basic errors in grammar, structure, diction and mechanics.
Strategies for Individual and Peer Editing
- Editing for Style
Editing for Conciseness
- writing appropriately for audience, purpose and form.
- using the appropriate level of formality, (tone, voice, word choice, source citations).
- creating continuity in a piece of writing, (unity, coherence, logic).
- creating variety,
- structure: sentence type, sentence opening, sentence length, sentence order, clause order, phrase placement, transition placement;
- diction: making points in different ways.
Editing for Accuracy
- using words effectively by replacing
- weak or boring words
- words with inappropriate connotation or level of formality
- inappropriate slang expressions or jargon
- imprecise, ambiguous or confusing words
- meaningless words
- clichés, trite and overused words
- avoiding wordiness by eliminating
- unnecessary words, phrases or clauses
- overdeveloped elaboration
Proofreading for Errors
- using correct grammatical forms
- writing correct syntax
- using correct words and word form
- avoiding mechanical errors
Using basic editing tools on a word processor in order to identify where errors occur in writing.
- identifying and correcting grammar errors, e.g.: verb tense, verb form, modals, number, agreement, word order, word form, pronoun reference, prepositions, articles, possessives, modifiers, tense, person or number shifts, parallelism.
- identifying and correcting structure errors, e.g.: coordination, subordination, logic, fragment, run-on, comma splice, parallelism, confused phrasing.
- identifying and correcting diction errors, e.g.: wrong word, inappropriate word, wrong word form.
- identifying and correcting mechanical errors, e.g.: punctuation, spelling, capitalization, use of quotations, underlining, format (titles, headings, margins, indenting, etc.), handwriting.
- Taking responsibility for:
- attendance and punctuality
- classwork and assignments
- participation and teamwork
Methods Of Instruction
The instructor will facilitate, observe and evaluate students' participation in writing activities. Whole and small group instruction will be combined with individual assistance and student directed learning. Students will participate in the setting of goals by identifying their writing and language development needs, and will participate in the selection of learning activities.
Means of Assessment
A mastery model of on-going evaluation will be used. A student will reach mastery when s/he has demonstrated through satisfactory completion of exercises, assignments and other assessments that the course objectives have been achieved.
Where formal tests of specific skills are used, mastery will be defined as a score of 70% or more.
Progress will be monitored on a regular basis by the instructor in consultation with each student.
By developing specific strategies, students will improve their ability to identify, analyze and solve problems in language use in a piece of writing by:
- editing for style, conciseness and accuracy.
- proofreading for basic errors in grammar, structure, diction and mechanics.
Materials will be supplied.
Students may be required to purchase a text.