Getting Started with the Writing Reviser Add-in for Microsoft Word

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Let’s face it: teaching students to write well is a remarkably complex task. Whether they’re explicating an Emily Dickinson poem or reporting lab results for a science class, student writers must express themselves clearly and forcefully—and that usually involves revision. As James Baldwin knew, rewriting is both painful and necessary: “The hardest thing in the world is simplicity… You want to write a sentence as clean as a bone.”

Here’s the good news: Curriculum Pathways now offers a free add-in that Microsoft Word users can install to help them revise and edit their writing. The Writing Reviser Add-in includes tools that can revive sentences to make them more economical, varied, powerful, and clear. There’s more good news: it’s easy to use.

First, check which version of Microsoft Word you are using. This add-in works in: Word 2016 for Mac, Word 2016 or later, Word for iPad, and Word Online. If you are unsure or do not have the above, try using Office Online.

Next, install the Writing Reviser Add-in for Word Online or Microsoft Word. For additional help, follow the instructions here.

Once the add-in is installed, choose Launch from the Writing Reviser tab.

If you do not already have a Curriculum Pathways account associated with Microsoft, choose Sign up and create one with your Microsoft login information.

Once you have a Curriculum Pathways account associated with Microsoft, you can select Log in and follow the instructions to approve the Add-in.

You will now be logged in automatically to the Writing Reviser add-in and can begin using the tools provided.

Of course, the Writing Reviser Add-in will not analyze the poem for the student, and it certainly won’t conduct the science experiment. But the tools will provide students with the information and advice they need to begin to think like professional writers and to express their thoughts more clearly and effectively. And they might just find that getting the right word in the right place will make their sentences “as clean as a bone.”

Want to learn more about the Writing Reviser? Check out these blog posts!

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Terry Hardison

Terry Hardison oversees the development of English language arts resources for Curriculum Pathways. Prior to joining SAS, Terry worked for 21 years as a teacher and as a district-level English language arts supervisor.

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