Editing is often seen as one item on a list of steps in the
writing process – usually put somewhere near the end, and often completely
crowded out of writer’s workshop. Too many times, daily editing lessons happen
in a vacuum with no relationship to what students are writing.
In Everyday Editing, Jeff Anderson asks teachers to reflect on
what sort of message this approach sends to students. Does it tell them that
editing and revision are meaningful parts of the writing process, or just a
hunt for errors with a 50/50 chance of getting it right – comma or no comma?
Instead of rehearsing errors and drilling students on what’s wrong
with a sentence, Jeff invites students to look carefully at their writing along
with mentor texts and to think about how punctuation, grammar and style can be
best used to hone and communicate meaning.
Written in Jeff's characteristically witty style, this refreshing
and practical guide offers an overview of his approach to teaching editing
within the writing workshop as well as ten detailed sets of lessons covering
everything from apostrophes to verb choice to serial commas. These lessons can
be used throughout the year to replace daily oral language or error-based
editing strategies with a more effective method for improving student writing.