Home > Strategies and Skill Development > Verbal Strategy Families > Line Editing

Line-editing strategies are strategies for editing an existing text—not proofreading it for formal correctness, not changing its intended content in any way, but improving the effectiveness with which the text's wording conveys its intended message. Line-editing strategies consist of specific methods for reworking a text in this fashion. The simplest forms might involve direct rewording in place, such as in a word processor. Other strategies might take advantage of annotation methods or reassembly methods in which pieces of a text are cut up and put back together in a different order. As a skill, line editing requires paraphrase, sentence combining, and editorial markup skills, as well as the ability to coordinate them effectively while working with a longer text. The hypothesized development of these skills is presented in Development Table 38.

This ability corresponds in part to Writing Standard 5 from the Common Core State Standards.

Literature Note - Line Editing

Development Table 38. Hypothesized Development of Line-Editing Skills

(oral to word)
Can evaluate the efficacy of word choices in terms of precision and accuracy.
Can apply iterative editing strategies in which alternate words are considered, substituted into context, and then accepted or rejected.
Is efficient at generating and evaluating alternative candidate word choices.
(word to sentence)
Can evaluate whether a sentence is a clear, accurate, and precise expression of its likely intended meaning.
Can apply iterative editing strategies in which multiple ways of expressing the same idea are considered in context and then accepted, rejected, or modified further.
Can efficiently generate and evaluate paraphrases of an intended meaning.
(sentence to text)
Can evaluate whether a short passage (taken as a whole) adequately represents a complex system of ideas.
Can apply iterative editing strategies in which blocks of text are developed by focusing on a particular set of ideas that need to be expressed, substituted into the appropriate context in a larger document, and then evaluated and accepted, rejected, or modified further in context.
Can efficiently generate and evaluate variant passages intended to represent the same set of ideas.
(sentence to context)
Can evaluate whether the sequence of clauses and sentences within a short passage represents a clear and comprehensible presentation of an underlying set of ideas.
Can apply iterative editing strategies in which passages are edited (primarily by reordering and shifts in emphasis) to improve the overall flow of ideas
Can efficiently generate new versions of a passage by reordering clauses and sentences (and paraphrasing if necessary) to achieve the clearest presentation of an underlying set of ideas.
(sentence and context to discourse)
Can evaluate whether the explicitly presented information within a short passage presents all of the information necessary to reconstruct a complete, precise and accurate mental model of an underlying collection of ideas.
Can apply iterative editing strategies in which implicit information in a passage is identified, elaborated upon, and then inserted.
Can efficiently elaborate upon the explicitly presented information in a passage by inferring and explicitly stating presuppositions, implicit subjects or objects, standards of comparison, and other information whose existence is implied but not asserted by the text as literally written.

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