Myths and Realties

When Not to Respond

Designing Writing Assignments

Commenting: Margins and End

Commenting on Drafts


Helping Students Learn Editing

Helping Students Learn to Fix Errors

Overview of Rhetorical Context

Discipline Specific Resources

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Authors & Contributors

Explain the Relationship between Editing and Reading Ease

Drawing on students' reading experience also helps them understand how easily they can lose readers' attention. Ask how many of them have skipped over an article when the first paragraph or two didn't seem interesting? How many have skipped a newspaper or magazine item completely because the headline or title didn't appeal to them? Readers take only a few seconds to make up their minds to read newspaper and magazine articles. But once the reader is started, only a few errors can change the reader's mind about finishing an article.

Reading ease is one of the key features that keeps readers going through a text. If sentences are hard to read, readers often get bored. If errors confuse readers, some will stop reading rather than work to figure out the meaning behind the garbled sentences.

So if students want to communicate with their readers - all the way through a text - then students need to be sure to give readers a text that doesn't distract or confuse. And that means editing carefully and proofreading for correctness.