National Proofreading Day is March 8, 2017. The purpose of the day is to promote mistake-free writing. If you are anything like me, you may be familiar with several editing marks and you would definitely love to be able to use them on social media posts! The reality is that we (the public) do judge individuals based upon their writing skills. Maybe we shouldn’t grammar-shame, but every individual is provided with an education that will improve their writing skills if they choose to take advantage of it. Students should be aware of the image they are projecting by any of their writing selection structures, whether that be on resumes or social media posts. There may not be much we can do about the content, but we can teach the importance of proofreading your writing and editing as needed. The following website has many resources that can assist you with this: http://nationalproofreadingday.com/
A few notable resources I located on this website that I found interesting are:
- Two individuals that traveled across the United States and corrected typos on public signs. They wrote a book, The Great Typo Hunt, about their journey. How awesome is this! Why wasn’t I invited?
- “The Impotence of Writing” article on www.dailywritingtips.com. A fun activity for your students! Don’t forget to check out the archives. So much information is available. Where has this been all my life?
I know that we all do proofreading and editing to our students’ work with our trusty red pen, but how well do we teach students to do that to their own work? For myself, I focus on a few things as far as proofreading for EACH and EVERY assignment. Capital letters, commas, appropriate spacing, and end punctuation are immediate red flags. Since students know that I will always return their work to them to correct these mistakes, they will generally take care of it the first time. They consider it a victory not to have work to correct (and to watch my face crumble when I realize that they may have earned a small break).
The key to teaching students be efficient proofreaders is familiarity and routine. Make sure they know what each proofreading sign is and how to correct the mistake. Give them opportunities to do so. A great activity would be to have your fellow teachers, staff, and administration create writing samples full of errors that students must identify. Explain to the students that you have been collecting samples from your co-workers to see how well students are able to recognize the mistakes. This activity makes it personal since the students actually know who wrote the samples. It builds upon their relationship with these individuals.
Happy National Proofreading Day to you! If this is also something you struggle with, check out this nifty website: www.paperrater.com an awesome individual shared it with me. It allows you to proofread your own work. Please share any activities or resources you have that can us to celebrate National Proofreading Day!