Writer's Workshop

Writing Conventions



When you publish you will write a final neat copy of your work. You will want to choose an interesting way to share your work. Perhaps you will see your writing as a newspaper article, poem, letter to the editor etc. 


Ideas and Content Activities

Questions to Help you fix your mistakes.


  • Do you need a cover page?
  • Do you need illustrations?
  • Is your name in the appropriate place?
  • Do you need to type or write in pen?
  • Read your work aloud.
  • Create an audiotape.
  • Include illustrations with your written form.
  • Does each sentence have a subject, a verb, and a complete thought?
  •  Have you run two sentences together incorrectly without a period, conjunction or semicolon separating them?
  • Does each paragraph have a topic sentence which states the main idea?
  • Have you used examples and vivid specific details to describe your topic?
  • Have you used explanatory sentences to give your opinion or judgment on the topic?
  • Have you left out any words in your sentences? 
  • Have you included sentences which pertain only to that idea?
  • Do you like to work right at the computer?
  • Use the Conventions checklist here.
  • Have you used checklists to edit?
Get some distance from the text! It's hard to edit or proofread a paper that you've just finished writing--it's still too familiar, and you tend to skip over a lot of errors. Put the paper aside for a few hours,  Go for a walk. The point is to clear your head of what you've written so you can look at the paper fresh and see clearly what is really on the page.

Give the document the good old spell and grammar check with Microsoft Word. This will catch any remaining flaws, however use common sense - some grammar suggestions are not suitable - so read and think (rat) before you delete. Trust your ear.

Keep related words together -- adjectives next to their nouns. The important words go at the end of the sentence; the important sentences go at the end of the paragraph.

Give the paper to a friend. Someone who is reading the paper for the first time, comes to it with completely fresh eyes.

Rules of Comma use:
  1. A comma followed by the word "but" is okay.

     2.  Commas separating a list of things are okay.

      3.  Commas setting off parenthetic expressions are okay.

       4.  Other commas, however, need careful consideration - should it be a semicolon? a colon? an EM-dash? or parentheses?

Proofreading Rules:
  1. Decide what medium lets you proofread most carefully.
  2. Find a quiet place to work. Don't try to do your proofreading in front of the TV or listening to a CD. Find a place where you can concentrate and avoid distractions.
  3. If possible, do your editing and proofreading in several short blocks of time, rather than all at once--otherwise, your concentration is likely to wane.
  4. If you're short on time, you may wish to prioritize your editing and proofreading tasks to be sure that the most important ones are completed.
  5. Have you checked the Revision guide?

Some of my ideas were based on those found at these sites.

When You write Keep your audience in mind . Who will read this story or poem? Why will they keep reading it? What is my purpose for writing it? Questions you ask yourself are- Is my message clear? Do I have enough information?