In class on Monday, I talked about some of the things that good writers do.
Careful writers, I noted, choose the right words and phrases, including concrete nouns and vigorous verbs. They provide details, including relevant information and focused observations. And they make sentences flow by cutting unnecessary words, using active voice, and varying sentence lengths to create rhythm and pacing.
Another thing good writers do is proofread. They get good at catching errors and fixing them … before submitting their work. That’s what professionals do, and that’s what you need to do.
That’s why I emphasize the Copy Edit the World assignment … and that’s why I’m cracking down on copy editing errors this semester.
Here’s how it’s going to work: If I find three errors (in AP style, spelling or grammar) as I’m grading your paper, I will stop grading it and return it to you for further revision. I will not finish grading your paper until you’ve revised it and resubmitted it. Every time I have to hand a paper back to you because of errors, you will lose a grade — that is, a “B” paper will become a “C” paper. This also applies to assignments submitted as blog posts and assignments that are graded Credit/No Credit.
So please make sure to proofread your assignments carefully before you submit them.