Using crucial prewriting strategies, The Edit Assist will help you build the foundation on which your entire work will stand. There is a lot work we will do before you start writing.
(1) Understand your assignment
(2) Narrow down your topic choices and decide on one
(3) Carefully consider who your reader is
(4) Develop your ideas
*To develop your ideas, The Edit Assist will show you how to practice several active techniques that move beyond merely jotting down your thoughts. Developing your ideas is often called “brainstorming.” Some people call it “brain dumping.”
(5) Collect information by doing the research. Read, take notes, and document sources.
(6) Organize the information you collect.
*If you have an enormous basket of mixed fruit that you must organize, there are many ways to do it: color; how it is eaten; how it grows, does it have edible seeds; et cetera. How you organize your information will depend on the point you are trying to make to your reader.
(7) The Edit Assist will teach you how to synthesize your information. Synthesizing means combining rather than merely summarizing. Do not simply describe what you collected; instead, figure out why it matters that you categorized what you collected in the way that you did.
The Edit Assist will help with what is often the most difficult part of the writing process: actually writing. The first step in this part of the process is to just get some words down on paper, please! You will never know what you are going to say before you say it, so just say it and call it a first draft. It does not have to be perfect; it doesn’t even have to be great. It just needs to be something with which you can work.
Now is the time to hear what your teachers, peers, or Edit Assist tutor think about what you wrote. The Edit Assist will make sure you’ve written exactly what you wanted to communicate, and that the reader will understand exactly what you wanted to communicate.
Revision requires that you take a step back, a breath, and then a hard look at your paper in terms of your topic, your ideas, and your reader. This is the most important and time-consuming part of the project. It may require you to go back and do some more research. You may have to reorganize what you already have on paper. You may have to add more paragraphs in order to flesh out your ideas or delete paragraphs in order to keep the writing tight.
The Edit Assist will help you identify and edit the most common errors that can make all the difference. Editing is the part of the writing process by which you show the reader that you care about the piece of writing you are going to share with him or her. It is worth its weight in gold to have someone with an editor’s eye read your work for errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and for strange phrases or word choices that will make it harder for the reader to know what you mean. Know which style guide (Chicago, AMA, Cambridge, AP, e.g.), if any, you are supposed to use. Make sure you have inserted page numbers if required.