Everyday English 1
Everyday English 1

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Everyday English 1

1.4 Editing your writing

Editing means checking, improving, re-reading or proofreading your writing. It is the point at which you correct errors and make changes so that it looks and sounds as good as it can. It should be something you do whenever you write anything – you should really read every text message you send as it is easy to say something you don’t mean.

Checking or proofreading what you have written is a vital part of the writing process. This means reading your work carefully to find any errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar. If you are not absolutely sure that something is correct it is important that you check it, to make sure mistakes are found and corrected. Obviously in an assessment or exam you will lose marks for errors if you don’t check your work, but in real life there are equally serious consequences. If there are errors in your writing, at best the reader might think you are lazy; at worst they may think you do not have the knowledge or skills to get it right. In both cases you are judged negatively. If you are applying for a job, your chances of getting it will shrink.

Activity 7 Proofreading

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Read the draft of the letter below. Using the highlighting tool, highlight as many errors as you can.

Then write the correct spellings of the misspelt words in the box.

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Discussion

Check how many of the errors (shown in bold) you found and your corrected spellings (in square brackets):

On 25 Sepmbeber [September] I bought a vacum [vacuum] cleaner, model Ultra Cool ZX3 costing £75, from your shop.

After three weeks the the cleaner stopped working. It turns on but does not have any sucktion powder [suction power] and will not pick anything up.

Please confirm that as the product is under guarantee you will replase [replace] it. I will come into your shop on Saturday 2 October to collect the replacement. Before I make the journey to the shop please let me know by telephone if you have another cleaner in stoke [stock].

My telephone number is 01357 234789.

Note the corrected spellings: September, vacuum, suction, power, replace, stock.

Notice also that the longest paragraph needed to be broken up into three sentences, like this:

Please confirm that as the product is under guarantee you will replace it. I will come into your shop on Saturday 2 October to collect the replacement. Before I make the journey to the shop please let me know by telephone if you have another cleaner in stock.

Activity 8 More proofreading

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

The text below explains how the ‘Chip and PIN’ system works. There are several spelling errors. Highlight the misspelled words. Then in the box below, write the correct spellings of the words you’ve highlighted.

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Discussion

Check if you found all the errors – here are the correct spellings:

  • introduced
  • for
  • offers
  • security
  • debit
  • identification
  • typed
  • required
  • receipt.

Here are the errors in the paragraph along with the corrected spellings:

In 2004, banks intoduced [introduced] a system four [for] payment called ‘Chip & PIN’. This ofers [offers] greater secrity [security] than a signature when a debit or credit card is used for payment. Card fraud cost around £2 billion in the UK in 2018. Debt [debit] and credit cards are issued with a ‘smart’ chip that contains the cardholder’s PIN (personal identifiction [identification] number). When the card is used for payment the PIN number is typped [typed] into a keypad at the till and a signature is not requird [required]. In some situations, customers will still need to sign a rceipt [receipt].

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