ELA 5: Editing

Today's lessen is all about editing, witch we hear at Shmoop no all about. We're total prose.

5th GradeLanguage Arts
Elementary and Middle School5th Grade
LanguageEnglish Language

Transcript

00:29

There are two main problem areas to focus on:

00:32

spelling, and punctuation and capitalization.

00:35

And nobody’s perfect, so don’t give us that “I have no problem areas” look. [Guy wearing a sign full of errors]

00:40

Your first step is to fix any spelling errors. [Dino pointing at a blackboard]

00:43

And, yes, go ahead and use spell check on your computer.

00:45

It’s not cheating.

00:46

Spell check can root out any pure nonsense, like misspellings of "farm" as "fram," or [Guy at his computer looks confused]

00:51

"cat" as "carfoofullnurget."

00:54

…We don't even want to know how you got that from "cat."

00:57

But spell-check isn’t enough.

00:58

Oftentimes, a word won't be misspelled as pure nonsense, but just as a different word

01:02

that isn't correct in context.

01:05

Take the following sentence: "Come on over," my teacher told me, holding my paper in his hands.

01:10

"It's time for us to have a little cat about paraphrasing vs. plagiarism."

01:14

Every word is spelled correctly, so spell-check would think it's A-OK, but look closer. [Guy looks pleased as spell check is clear]

01:19

Sure, the teacher might be thinking about adopting a kitten, but in this context, what [Teacher with a kitten on his head]

01:23

he meant to say was probably that he wanted to have a chat.

01:27

To find errors like this, your best bet is to read your text aloud.

01:31

When you're saying words with your mouth rather than just skimming them with your eyes, errors [Guy notices the error whilst reading aloud]

01:34

are much easier to find and correct.

01:37

And bonus: you get to treat your whole household to a verbal reading of your masterpiece.

01:41

Lucky them.

01:43

With spelling out of the way, you can move on to checking punctuation and capitalization. [Coop pointing at a blackboard]

01:47

That means not only making sure that each sentence starts with a capital letter and

01:51

ends with a punctuation mark, but also making sure that all your dialogue is punctuated

01:55

correctly.

01:56

The rules for punctuating dialogue in particular can be a bit of a hornet's nest, but don't [Guy stood next to an actual hornet's nest]

02:00

worry.

02:01

You can always check to make sure that you're punctuating correctly. [The hornets surround the boy and he runs away]

02:04

It's not a race, and when it comes to editing, it's always better to be thorough than fast. [The boy runs past a girl sat at her desk and the hornets surround her]

02:08

Pro tip: don't forget to keep a copy of “Punctuating Dialogue for Dummies” under your pillow. [The book squishes the hornets]

02:13

You never know when it’ll come in handy.

02:15

If you can get a handle on spelling, punctuation, and capitalization and manage to root out

02:19

all of those little errors, then congratulations! [Boy holds up his finished work]

02:21

You're done.

02:23

Your work is error-free and your pillow is slightly less comfortable.

02:26

…Sorry about that. [Boy looks sad]