4th Grade - Edit And Revise Drafts

Edit and revise drafts
Edit and revise selected drafts to improve coherence and progression by adding, deleting, consolidating, and rearranging text. (evaluation and revision)
The ability to go through the editing and revising steps of the writing process in order to strengthen and improve the text’s clarity and progress. Furthermore, the ability to evaluate when it is necessary to add, delete, consolidate, and/ or rearrange text.

Sample Problems


What is editing? (preparing text for publication by removing errors and unnecessary lengthy phrases – to ensure clarity and accuracy)


What is revising? (rethinking something – to come to different conclusions about something after thinking again)


What are the similarities and differences between editing and revising? (they both aim to improve writing; they are different in that revising can include rearranging, rewriting, consolidating, adding, etc. while editing is usually more focused on correcting grammar, deleting unnecessary words, etc.)


What is coherence in writing? (consistency, lucidity, clarity, etc.)


What is progression in writing? (development, progress, forward movement, etc.)

Learning Tips


The great thing about revising and editing is not only can the process be made easy, but fun too! You can be creative when you are revising your paper or someone else’s. Use this SCAMPER acronym by Bob Eberle to help you remember:

Substitute – What can I exchange with another word or phrase (use the thesaurus!)

Combine – How can I connect these two ideas? these sentences?

Adapt – What if I changed this to…? What can I add to this?

Modify – What should I magnify (exaggerate, emphasize)? or minimize (downplay, reduce)?

Put to other uses – Where should I put this phrase or sentence so it functions better?

Eliminate – What unnecessary words, phrases, punctuation, etc. can I eliminate, or rid of?

Rearrange – What text can I switch around, or redesign to make it stronger?


Adding to your writing can be a powerful tool, as long as you’re not just adding “fluff and flowery language.” Specific, descriptive details can add leagues of depth to writing. Look at the changes in the following examples – they are not just making the sentences longer, they are adding details to make them better. Remember to old adage, “Show, not tell.” Practice sharing items like you would in “Show & Tell,” but show with your words more than you tell.

Okay: The kitten looked at me – it was so cute!

BETTER: The teensy ball of dark black fur stared at me with yellow eyes like the moon.

Okay: I was very nervous for the game to begin.

BETTER: My stomach flipped over and over like clothes in a dryer and I tried to stop my knees from trembling.

Okay: She wanted the candy so bad, she couldn’t wait to eat it.

BETTER: The candy glistened, its rainbow spirals filling her with temptation.


Just as there are times when you should add information, there are times when you should delete, or get rid of, information. Sometimes wordy phrases and run-on sentences are culprits that need to be deleted, or at least chiseled into something clearer. Often just as we speak without thinking, we write without thinking it through and it is a long, drawn-out expression. Push yourself to “hold your tongue” for 3 seconds before you blurt things out, and then transfer this skill to your writing.


Sentence Stems – In writing and/or in speech (verbally), give the child several sentence stems or prompts and have them consolidate the sentences. Make some simple and some long enough that the child will have to adapt it to make them make sense. Overall, the revisions should be shorter, or more concise.


(1) If I could go anywhere, I would go to Hawaii, Italy, Australia, and Japan. I have been to Great Britain, Mexico, and Canada.

Although I have been to several countries, I would most like to go to Hawaii.

(2) My favorite foods are spaghetti and meatballs, mangos, jambalaya, and corn on the cob. My mom makes a great cheesecake.

My favorite main course is jambalaya, followed by my mom’s delicious homemade cheesecake for dessert.

(3) Bicycles are great for exercise but I like them better for play – like riding on BMX tracks and doing jumps and tricks like 360s.

Bicycles can be used for sport, exercise, and play.


When you rearrange text, it is essential to make sure the overall statement, phrase, or paragraph makes sense in a logical order. Cut or type up a section of a newspaper or magazine and have your child arrange the text back in its original order at first, and then decide whether or not to rearrange any of the sentences in a better order.

Extra Help Problems


Why do you add text to text? (to elaborate by adding detail – to make the text stronger and/ or more interesting to the reader)


Why do you delete text from text? (to eliminate wordy phrases or unnecessary words such as ‘basically’ and ‘and’)


Why do you consolidate text? (to combine simple sentences into complex or compound ones; to combine ideas)


Why do you rearrange text? (to order or sequence ideas in ways that make more sense chronologically, or in alignment with the storyline)


Why is it important to revise and edit text? (to revisit text after initially writing it makes us look at it differently, and usually errors and possible changes are more apparent so we can make our writing better)


What is proofreading? (looking over a text in its totality for conceptual errors or mistakes)


Is editing the same thing as proofreading? (not quite – they both require you to look closely at the text for possible changes but editing is more focused on the nitty gritty details while proofreading comes later and is more focused on scanning the overview of the text as it will look when complete)


What are the steps of the writing process? (usually they are something like: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, publishing)


What comes first – editing or revising? (revising because you’re writing another draft or reworking another version of the text)


What happens in the prewriting phase of the writing process? (brainstorming – possibly using graphic organizers – to think of main ideas and details to include in the story)


What happens in the drafting phase of the writing process? (the first draft, or “rough” draft is written, sometimes more than once)


What happens in the revising phase of the writing process? (the first draft is reviewed and reworked to be stronger, clearer, and progressive with potential for more drafts)


What happens in the editing phase of the writing process? (the final draft is created after grammar, spelling, mechanics, concepts, sentence and paragraph structure, etc. are checked for accuracy)


What happens in the publishing phase of the writing process? (the text is completed in the desired format (e.g., book, essay, typed, rewritten in cursive, etc.) and sometimes pictures and/ or graphics are added for effect)


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