Research - Technology to support writing

Prepared by: Sheri Lenzo, Teacher Leader for Assistive Technology, Oak Park District 97

C. Technology to Support Editing and Revising

Two purposes:






Detecting and correcting errors of spelling punctuation, grammar, and capitalization to improve accuracy.


Improving the organization of ideas, the clarity of composition, supporting details, and elaboration.



Struggling writers most often focus on mechanical errors, and have difficulty evaluating and changing their writing for organization, clarity or detail purposes. Research indicates students with learning disabilities (LD) do not have, or sustain, a plan for revising their compositions. In addition, the demands on working memory make it difficult for students with LD to manage the processes involved in appraising the essence of their compositions to accomplish meaningful revisions.

1. What to Do—Editing and Revising

  • Use a spell checker – teach students to strategically use a spell checker and understand errors suggested by the checker.
  • Use text-to-speech (TTS) – to recognize errors, and improve accuracy of corrections.
  • Spell checkers that have ‘flexible spelling’ or phonemic spell check are better at interpreting the correct word and offering it within the first five choices.
  • Use Spell checkers with instruction in proofreading strategy.
  • Use electronic thesaurus, dictionary tools to support vocabulary and expand word choice.

Students using word processing, electronic organization or planning tools in the writing process need access to equivalent tools, and to their work-in-progress documents outside of school. Using Internet-based technology eliminates problems with software incompatibility between school, and other work environments outside of school.

Recommended software - WriteOnline