CAPS A strategy for final revisions by pptfiles


									Prescott College Writing & Learning Center 2/2008

                         CAPS: An Editing Strategy
    After planning, writing, and revising the content and form of your paper, use the
CAPS editing strategy to catch sentence-level errors that affect the way the reader
understands your work. Methodically ask yourself the four questions listed below as you
read each line of your paper, circling areas where you find an error or something
questionable. Once you’ve read through the whole paper, go back and do some research
online or in writing handbooks into those errors you can’t fix on your own. If you use this
strategy on every paper just before finalizing it, you will soon learn the writing
conventions CAPS focuses on and will not need to look them up each time. Online
resources for each of the CAPS issues is provided below. A general resource for editing
issues is online at (click on ‘Grammar and Mechanics’
for editing help).

C              Is each of my sentences complete?
               e.g.   Being an important factor. (fragment/not complete)
                      Socioeconomic class is an important factor. (complete)
                      Artistic preference, for example. (fragment/not complete)
                      Artistic preference affects our decisions, for example. (complete)

A              Do I have correct agreement between subjects
               and verbs, pronouns and antecedents?
               e.g.   Friends of the doctor believes he is innocent. (incorrect agreement)
                      Friends of the doctor believe he is innocent. (correct agreement)
                      Everyonei thinks theyi are open-minded. (incorrect agreement)
                      Everyonei thinks hei is open-minded. (correct agreement)
                      Studentsi thati study are successful. (incorrect agreement)
                      Studentsi whoi study are successful. (correct agreement)

P              Have I used correct punctuation?
               e.g.   The allegations were, false. (incorrect)
                      The allegations were false. (correct)
                      People disagree on; the environment and abortion. (incorrect)
                      People disagree on the environment and abortion. (correct)

S              Have I checked my spelling?
               e.g.   The author sites two important studies in his essay. (incorrect)
                      The author cites two important studies in his essay. (correct)
                      Complimentary medicine offers patients new benefits. For
                      example, complementary medicine has fewer side effects.
Prescott College Writing & Learning Center 2/2008

Spelling Tip 1:          Spell-check programs will not catch a spelling error like the one in
                         the examples because all the underlined words exists as separate
Spelling Tip 2:          If you have spelled one word two different ways in a single paper,
                         you should check the spelling in a dictionary.
Spelling Tip 3:          To better catch spelling errors, read your paper backwards word by
                         word. This disrupts the flow of meaning that usually helps us miss
                         spelling errors or inconsistencies.

For additional help see:

Sentence fragments at:

Agreement at:

Punctuation at:

Spelling at:

    Students are often asked to write a research paper or essay in which they are required
to cite their sources. In this case, add a fifth step to the CAPS editing strategy:

S                 Have I checked my style                 guidelines?

                  The style guidelines you use in your research paper will depend on what
                  your instructor requires you to use or which set of guidelines you choose
                  (usually APA, MLA, or CMS in college-level work). It is very important
                  to your readers and teachers that you choose an appropriate style and
                  consistently apply it in your paper. These guidelines stipulate the format
                  for in-text citations, page numbering and placement, title pages, tables and
                  figures, the reference list, and much more. Get a copy of the guidelines
                  early in your writing process and refer to it as you collect your research
                  sources. In your final edit, check your paper line by line and page by page
                  to make sure that your format is correct and consistent. Make sure all the
                  references you cite in the text appear in the references list, and vice versa.
                  As with the other CAPS issues, achieving correctness is not only within
                  your grasp, it is your responsibility. For specific style guidelines, go to

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