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Using a style sheet

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Welcome to module 4 of the course. In this module, we will focus on editing and proofreading a text. In our earlier discussion of the writing process in module 1, we have seen that many experienced writers view revising and editing as important parts of the actual writing process, and they intend to revise and edit virtually everything they write. Instead of only correcting mistakes in a piece of text, revising and editing are ways for writers to evaluate their ideas, to generate and test new ideas during the writing process, and to polish and tighten the overall argumentation and presentation. Although revising and editing are parts of the creative process, we recommend that you save them until you have a piece of text – a section, sub­section or paragraph – that you view as complete, in that the ideas you discuss and the organization into an introduction­-part and a body­-part (for sections) or a topic sentence followed by development (for paragraphs) are relatively stable. That way, you do not end up wasting your time correcting mistakes in a piece of text that does not seem to fit in or serve a purpose, and is therefore likely to be deleted later. Before you start revising and editing a passage, you should also have clarified to yourself how important the passage in question is going to be for the essay as a whole. If the passage contains ideas that are directly relevant for your research question and thesis, you should allow yourself enough time to revise and edit and possibly re­write the text several times. A passage that only contains extra information that is not directly linked to your thesis will need less time and attention, and some cases you may get away with only proofreading such passages quickly. This module is divided into three lessons, all of which focus on issues that you should be aware of, when you revise, edit and proofread your text. The first lesson, "The need to revise and edit one’s text," introduces you to issues that require both large-­scale and small­-scale revision and editing. Following, the lesson "Revising and editing for language" focuses on issues that affect the style and tone of your writing. The third lesson, called "Some tips and tricks on common errors," gives you practical advice on issues that are often problematic for writers.

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