Solving the Editing Problem

Nov 18, 2015 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team


While teaching IEW writing a year or so ago, I found it wasn’t always easy to believe that my students were getting consistent editing attention at home. Several students would turn their final draft back to me with strong evidence that it hadn’t passed by a second pair of eyes. I knew this lack might not always be blameworthy on the part of the parent; there’s the time factor and the fear of not knowing what to look for in a child’s paper. Whatever the hurdle, in the end I knew it was the students who would pay the price for not having their work fine-tuned, an essential step in the IEW writing method. For me this deficiency was a real concern.

Not long after, I was working with Andrew, going through the many questions sent in for our “Ask Andrew Anything” podcast, and we came across a similar question: How can I ensure my students are getting the editing help they need at home? To my delight, Andrew had already thought of the solution. It came in the form of a letter:


Sending a letter or message such as this serves to affirm the importance of the editor’s role, along with encouraging students that their editor doesn’t necessarily have to be a parent—a grandparent, neighbor, or even an older sibling (with the right skills) could serve as an excellent and committed editor. Most importantly, it lays out clear expectations and directives, something that is sure to quiet the fears lurking in an editor’s heart.

Feel free to download and use this Letter to the Editor if you think it might be helpful in your situation!

For more help with the IEW approach to editing, check out these articles by Andrew Pudewa:

4 Deadly Errors of Teaching Writing

So… So… Awkward

Marking and Grading: A Few Thoughts About a Sticky, Tricky Subject

Kristin Boutross grew up as part of a large homeschooling family in the rolling hills of Northeast Oklahoma. In addition to working in IEW's customer service department, she also assists the Director of Marketing. Teaching IEW classes for a local homeschool co-op, she has especially enjoyed being an assistant teacher to Andrew Pudewa. She enjoys snow, singing, teaching, traveling, being with family and friends, and working with and for IEW.


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