A photograph of a graphic rendering of a hand giving a thumbs up and an exclamation point

Source: Oh Geez! Design Thumbs Up Blue Card, Og Geez! Design, Flickr

When you are about to submit a piece of your own writing, you should go step by step through the editing process to catch any errors you might have made inadvertently. This is a task that should be performed slowly and methodically. Otherwise, you may gloss over mistakes in your writing. It is important for many reasons to present yourself in the best possible manner, and using editing strategies can only improve your writing and make you look good to readers.

To practice what you have reviewed in this lesson, open a graphic organizer. You can download, save, and print this file. When you are finished with it, return to this section. Graphic Organizer Instructions

To see how we highlighted the article and compare it to your own, check your understanding to see a possible response.

Check Your Understanding

Sample Responses:

(1) Recycling has become so automatic that if we’re out and theirs no place to recycle that soda can or bottle, it feels slightly elicit to just drop it in the trash. It’s like littering. You just don’t due it.

(2) Lately, however, I started wandering—are we really doing anything with all this recycling besides feeling better about the stuff we by?

(3) Much of the discussion has focused on the Economic impact. That issue has been batted back and fourth with mixed results, although most experts now agree that Cities have become more experienced and more effective — and therefore made it more cost-efficient—to recycle most products rather than dump them in landfills.

(4) I’m more curious about what impact it has on other environmental behavior. And when I started looking at that more closely, I discovered that theirs an intense debate going on about this issue.

(5) Recycling “is good civic behavior,” said Samantha MacBride, an assistant professor of public affairs at Baruch College, City University of New York, but its oversold as a panacea to a hole host of environmental ills, from overflowing landfills to global warming. “I wouldn’t say that people who do recycling feel they’ve done everything they can by participating, but they think theirs a lot more being achieved then there actually is,” she said. Nationally, said professor MacBride, who is the author of recycling reconsidered (MIT Press, 2011), recycling prevents only about one-third of all trash from ending up in landfills.

(6) Partly, she said, that is because people are not recycling everything they can. Partly its because the recycling model in most municipalities of picking up a bin with all the recyclables mixed together, especially the plastics, doesn’t work well.

(7) “There’s a huge range of plastic materials and hundreds of different resins,” professor MacBride said. “We need markets and processes to rout them back into production and for the most part, those processes don’t exist.”

(8) The emphasis, she said, has to be much more on regulating and recycling waist from manufacturers rather than consumer waist.

(9) The other problem is that while “Recycling is a wonderful thing to do if we’re comparing it to throwing stuff away, it has become a reward for consumption,” said Michael Maniates, a Professor of Environmental Science at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania.

(10) Gernot Wagner, an Economist with the Environmental Defense Fund and author of But Will The Planet Notice: How Smart Economics Can Save The World, (Hill and Wang, 2011), agrees.

—Alina Tugen, Recycling Helps, but It’s Not All You
Can Do for the Environment, New York Times

To see a corrected version of the article, open this PDF.

You can see that the basic idea of this lesson is to practice step-by-step editing strategies to improve your writing. Sometimes it’s difficult to look for every error all at once. In these cases, try using a systematic approach. First, tackle spelling, then capitalization, and finally, punctuation. By proofreading and editing in this manner, you’re less likely to skip over errors in your haste to discover every mistake.