f. Finally, check spelling. It's fine to use the feature on your word processing program that checks spelling, but don't let that be your only check. That will tell you only if your words are words; it won't tell you if they're the right words. Be especially careful of homophones (their and there, for example). You should also check for typographical errors, such as they for the.

As long as you're making changes, you should continue proofreading. Changing one thing, such as from singular to plural, might necessitate other changes. When you've read your composition a couple of times without making any changes, you're nearing the end of the editing process.

Consider having a skilled proofreader (a peer, sibling, or parent) read especially important papers, letters, and applications. Your teacher will let you know whether you should follow this procedure with daily assignments.

8. You're now ready to make what you hope will be your final copy. If you're handwriting your composition, you'll need to repeat the proofreading described in Step 7. Using a word processor simplifies correction of errors. Be sure to save your work frequently and to make one or more backup disks.

9. Share your ideas—via your writing—with a broader audience. Read your work aloud, send it in a letter, or submit it for publication. Enjoy your readers' responses!

Biographical Information


Fran Santoro Hamilton's thirty-five years as teacher, writer, and editor have enabled her to distill the English language to its essentials. Fran is the author of Hands-On English, an English handbook that makes grammar visual, and she cosponsors The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration. Fran provides many free resources at www.GrammarAndMore.com.

Copyright, 2009. All rights reserved by author below. Content provided by The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC

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