Peer Reviewing an Essay: Copyediting a Peer's Work

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  • 0:03 What Is Copyediting?
  • 1:30 Sample Essay
  • 3:12 Answer Key
  • 5:00 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In this lesson, we'll learn about the benefit of copyediting for both grammar and content. You'll learn how to edit a peer's essay and be provided with an example of an essay to practice edit.

What Is Copyediting?

What does it mean to copyedit an essay? Copyediting is reviewing the work of other writers to make sure that it is ready to be published. A copyeditor will analyze a piece for content and grammar to make sure it is clear, accurate, and error-free. However, the copyeditor does not attempt to change the author's writing style or message. When copyediting a piece, the copyeditor will first want to know:

  • Who is the intended audience?
  • What is the thesis?
  • What are the main points?
  • What is the mood of the piece?

These are things that the copyeditor will strive to keep in place. It is not the copyeditor's function to make the piece match his or her own writing style, but to make sure the information in the essay is clearly articulated, accurate, well-organized, and that it follows the designated style guide.

A copyeditor will provide feedback to answer the following questions:

  • Is the writing style consistent throughout the piece?
  • Are there grammatical errors?
  • Is the information accurate?
  • Are sources cited correctly?
  • Will the information be clear to the intended audience?
  • Does the piece fulfill its intended purpose?
  • Does the essay meet the expectations outlined in the style guide?

If there are minor errors in place, such as changes in tense that affect consistency, the copyeditor will generally make those types of changes. However, major changes, such as inaccurate or missing information, would be sent back to the author for correction.

Sample Essay

Examine the following essay from the perspective of a copyeditor to determine what changes should be suggested to the author:

''My mom didn't let me play video games growing up, so now I do…gaming gives me a chance to just let go, blow somebody up and fight somebody from another dimension,'' said Wayne Brady. By the time your child enters school, the question of whether or not to allow them to play video games will inevitably come up. Video-game bashing is pretty popular as it is blamed for everything from violence to carpal tunnel syndrome. Let's examine some of the positive and negative effects of gaming.

Video games are beneficial for many reasons. First of all, computerized video games are great for introducing children to fundamental computer skills, such as using the keyboard, mouse, and printer. Many video games are educational and can teach kids math, reading, science, and history in fun, interactive ways. Research has shown connections between playing video games and creativity, decision-making speed, confidence-levels, and happiness. Further, children learn to work together in multi-player games and realize that mistakes help us get better.

Video games even provide some health benefits. Some video games require physical activity that promotes exercise. Video gamers has better vision as they are able to detect slight variations in color and lite intensity. Video games may be used to treat dyslexia, but also show some promise in the treatment of PTSD, schizophrenia, and neurodegenerative disorders.

Children who play video games are more intelligent, more social, and make better grades than their non-gaming peers. In conclusion, parents should encourage their children to play video games if they want them to be successful in life.

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