Stage 5. Edit Your Writing

Overview of Editing

Five Editing Principles (University of Illinois).  Highlights five principles used in editing your writing. 

Editing and Proofreading Strategies (University of Minnesota).  Provides strategies to thoroughly and carefully edit and proofread your final draft.

Editing the Essay, Part I (Harvard).  Part I of a two-part article that provides guidelines for editing your essay.

Editing the Essay, Part II (Harvard).  Part II of a two-part article that provides guidelines for editing your essay.

How to Edit Your Own Writing (University of Texas – Austin).  Provides a checklist to self-edit your writing.


Proofreading: Where do I begin? (Purdue OWL).  Provides general strategies to correct proofreading and discusses strategies before, during, and after proofreading to correct grammar and style issues.

How to Proofread (University of Wisconsin – Madison).  Provides tips on proofreading to correct errors in grammar, style, and spelling.

Suggestions for Proofreading Your Paper (Purdue OWL).  Provides suggestions to review the final draft more objectively during editing.

Twelve Common Errors (University of Wisconsin – Madison).  Checklist used to edit common errors in grammar.

Finding Common Errors (Purdue OWL).  Provides a discussion of the common proofreading issues that emerge among writers.

Reading Aloud

Reading Aloud Video Demo (The Writing Center at UNC – Chapel Hill).  Video describing how to read aloud as an effective editing technique.

Grammar: Is the scientific aspect of the study of a language that constitutes the forms words take and their relation to one another.  Grammar includes adjectives, adverbs, articles, conjunctions, interjections, nouns, prepositions, pronouns, and verbs.

Tips for Grammar, Punctuation, & Style (Harvard).  Provides practical tips for fixing common errors in grammar, punctuation, and style.

Attending to Grammar (Dartmouth).  Provides an overview of the most commonly used errors in grammar.  

Grammar (Purdue OWL).  Presents strategies to correct common errors in grammar.

Grammar Quick Tips (University of Minnesota).  Provides a number of quick tip handouts on common grammar errors.  

Grammar Girl (Quick & Dirty Tips.com).  Presents short and actionable advice on grammar, punctuation, and style.

Grammar Exercises (Purdue OWL).  Provides grammar exercises on adjectives, adverbs, appositives, articles, count and noncount nouns, prepositions, and tense consistency. 

Punctuation: Creates sense, clarity, and emphasis in writing and provides structure and organization.  Punctuation follows a set of rules.  

Punctuation Quick Tips (University of Minnesota).  Provides a number of quick tip handouts on common errors in punctuation.  

Punctuation (Purdue OWL).  Provides resources to help to clarify when and how to use various punctuation marks.

Mechanics: The technical details of writing (i.e., spelling rules, abbreviations, capitalization, compound words, contractions, etc.).

Mechanics (Purdue OWL).  Website provides help with sentence level organization and style, and includes resources on active and passive voice, parallel sentence structure, parts of speech, and transitions.  The website also provides practical exercises on spelling, numbering, sentence structure, and sentence style.

Three Part Webinar on Mastering the Mechanics of Writing (Walden University):

Part 1: Simple Sentences. Webinar discusses how to identify errors in simple sentences to strengthen your proofing skills.

Part 2: Compound & Complex Sentences. Webinar discusses how to correct punctuation and identify common errors in sophisticated and grammatically correct sentences.

Part 3: Beyond Basics. Webinar discusses advanced sentence structure errors and how to avoid them.


The Writer’s Diet – an Online Diagnostic Writing Tool (Helen Sword).  Algorithm-based diagnostic tool that provides feedback on 100 to 1000 word submissions and identifies how often you use specific parts of speech (i.e., strong verbs versus be-verbs, nouns, prepositions, adverbs, adjectives, and over use of waste words – it, this, that, and there).

Style Quick Tips (University of Minnesota).  Provides a number of quick tip handouts on commons errors in style.   

Writing Clear, Concise Sentences (University of Wisconsin – Madison).  Provides principles to write sentences that are clear, to the point, and easier to read.

Paramedic Method: A Lesson in Writing Concisely (Purdue OWL).  Presents steps to eliminate wordiness at the sentence-level using the Paramedic Method.

Online Grammar, Punctuation, Mechanics, & Style Guides

Grammar Handbook (University of Illinois).  Grammar Handbook that explains and illustrates the basic grammatical rules concerning parts of speech, phrases, clauses, sentences and sentence elements, and common problems of usage.

Guide to Grammar and Style (Dr. Jack Lynch, Chair, Department of English, Rutgers University).  Online guide of grammatical rules and explanations, comments on style, and suggestions on usage.

Grammarly Handbook (Grammarly.com).  Online guide to grammar, punctuation, mechanics, style, and techniques.

The Grammar Book (grammarbook.com).  Online guide on rules of grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and writing numbers. 

Using Sources

Quoting and Paraphrasing (University of Wisconsin).  Presents guidance on paraphrasing and quoting published sources.

How to Paraphrase a Source (University of Wisconsin).  Presents guidance on methods for paraphrasing difficult content. 


AU 1, Style and Author Guide, 2nd Edition (Air University).  Provides guidance on grammar, mechanics, documentation of sources, and instructions for manuscript submissions for publication by Air University Press. 

Chicago Manual of Style Online (University of Chicago Press).  The Chicago Manual of Style Online provides recommendations on editorial style and publishing practices.

Research and Citation Resources (Purdue OWL).  Provides methods of documenting and citing for APA 6th Edition, MLA 7th Edition, Chicago 16th Edition. 

Chicago Style Citation Quick Guide (University of Chicago Press).  Explains how to cite using the notes and bibliography style and the author-date style of documenting.

BibMe (Chegg Service).  Online bibliography, reference page, or work cited page generator for APA 6th Edition, MLA 7th Edition, Chicago 16th Edition.

KnightCite (Calvin College).  Online citation generator for APA 6th Edition, MLA 7th Edition, Chicago 16th Edition.

Citation Machine (Chegg Service).  Online citation generator for APA 6th Edition, MLA 7th Edition, Chicago 16th Edition.

Citation Management Tools (University of Minnesota).  Discusses citation manager software used in creating databases of citation information and notes, which allows writers to import and organize citation information from article indexes and other sources, save links to documents, and format citations for papers.

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