How to Improve your writing

for Creative Writing (creating a short story, play or poem) click here

<<Back to Writing Support click here.

Follow the editing process (RADS - Revise, Add, Delete, Substitute) - (adapted from The Writer's Craft by Harper and Westerhof)

>> At each stage, print out a double-spaced copy and revise with coloured pen. This can also be done using the "track changes" feature on some word processing programs such as MS Word.
  • focus on Revising (rearranging) and Adding content for most powerful, in depth, logical discussion of topic
  • edit by Deleting repetitive or redundant ideas or phrasing and work toward an efficient (economical) and concise use of language (most number of ideas in least number of words)
  • the above process should take several drafts
  • look at how you can colour your piece and add flare with stylistic use of language
  • finally, clean up any mechanical errors (grammar, spelling).

Editing strategies at each stage of the writing process:
  • read your work aloud
  • have a dictionary and grammar reference guide handy (see reference shelf to buy such as various style guides, there are mobile apps such as Merriam Webster or
  • double space your work so that you and others can edit. Exchange with someone who has a similar or (ideally) higher proficiency in the language. A fresh pair of eyes can help spot
  • Check Spelling by following your paper word by word from the last to first word in the piece (often we miss common errors because our brain will "autocorrect" as in these examples)

Typical Submission Guidelines (when asked for hardcopy of assignments)

  • Turnitin Originality Report (click on the coloured bar next to the assignment in your portfolio)
  • Rubric (with name, date, relevant info at top of sheet filled out in navy/black pen)
  • Final copy of the work (in MLA format)
  • Works Cited (review rules of MLA format in the Green Guide - see MLA link in left sidebar)
  • Drafts (edited, or evidence of self and peer reviews)
  • Media (optional: if giving a presentation or collage, print small versions of the slides you are presenting to get feedback: e.g., 6 slides per page for a powerpoint/keynote file).
  • TDSB Green Research Guide (under Secondary, click Reseach Success @your Library, pw: in agenda)