7 Ways To Teach Kids To Edit Their Own Writing

As kids grow up, start writing their first papers and head towards making college applications there are a whole load of skills that they need to develop. Some of these skills are more obvious than others and often the importance of a certain skill can be lost on not only the student themselves but their parents and teachers as well. Once you get to college it becomes vital that you be able to write and edit papers. Often you find that kids have been taught along the way how to write papers, but the self-editing part hasn’t been focused on as much. The upshot of this is that students get to the end of writing the paper and then fail to catch all the mistakes and improvements that there are, just happy to have reached the word limit. It’s really important that self-editing is a skill that is taught to kids early. So, let’s take a look how.

Reinforce Its Importance

When your kid starts needing to learn how to write essays, from the very first moment, you can reinforce to them the importance of self-editing. “Kids are often told to check their work, but self-editing, the art of giving yourself the space and time to assess everything you’ve written is a skill that ought to be given its own emphasis from as early as possible. Parents and teachers need to constantly remind children that an essay, article or other piece of work isn’t complete until this step is carried out”, says Howard Williams, educator at Paper Fellows. This is the vital first step towards teaching the skill.

Explain What It Is

For some students, particularly young ones, the idea of criticizing their own work is hard to wrap their head around. They might feel under fire being told to find the mistakes in their own work, or like if there are mistakes then they must have done something wrong. You want to get rid of this sort of negative stigma and explain the details of it and link the act of self-editing to writers or people that inspire your child.

Give Their Work Some Space

Sometimes the best way to encourage your kid to self-edit is to get them to put away their writing for a day between finishing the first version and embarking on the edit. This helps them to approach the task with a fresh outlook, and a new eye for their own work. It stops them from not finding any mistakes because of not wanting to find mistakes in work they’ve just completed.

Get Them To Edit Other People’s Work

A great little game that can encourage and develop your kid’s editing skills is to give them other people’s work with mistakes in it and getting them to spot them, maybe even with a reward for everything they find. This helps develop the skill without the pressure of it being their own work and will enhance their ability when it comes to look at their own work.

Create A Checklist

It’s important that you remember that there are different levels to a self-edit, all important but all different. For example, there’s a difference between doing a spellcheck and searching for thematic problems. Creating a checklist that can be applied to all of your kids’ writing is a great way to drill it into their paper-writing routine.

Give Them Tools To Help

With such a difficult task at hand, it can help to have some external aid, alternative tools for guiding your child. It’s not always going to work leaving the learning up to parents and teachers, and some more specific help can be required. So here are some tools to help:
  • ViaWriting and MyWritingWay – Two grammar resources that will help with this difficult to edit area.
  • Online Thesis Writing Services and Essay Help Online – General editing tools that are reviewed by UK Writing Services Reviews.
  • WritingPopulist and State Of Writing – Two blogs with more suggestions on editing.
  • Custom Essay and OXEssays – Some online proofreading resources that are mentioned in UK Top Writers.
  • LetsGoAndLearn and SimpleGrad – A pair of general writing guides, for a variety of applications.

Be Patient

Self-editing isn’t always a natural skill, especially for children of a young age-group. It can be really quite difficult for them to see the mistakes in their own work without guidance. That’s why it’s worth starting to teach this skill early, to give them the time to develop it fully. Just be patient and in time it will come!


As your kid advances through their education it will become more and more evident who around them has mastered self-editing and who hasn’t. It’s a skill that guarantees a higher achievement level, making it well worth the time and effort in imparting it to your kid as they develop.

Aimee Laurence is a teacher at English essays help and Buy AU Assignment websites where she devotes herself to writing about topics relating to education. Aimee also tutors at the University Assignment Help portal.
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