I have always found the final editing process to be the most difficult. Each year in my clinic, The Habeas Project, my students and I may file as many as seven or eight court briefs. Belying the name "brief," these documents are not short. And after working on a project for three or six or even nine months, it is common for teachers and students alike to lose momentum and interest in a project along with the ability to find the typo in the haystack.
My clinic students are tired (and sometimes both sick AND tired) from working long weeks and months on the same set of facts, cases, and legal issues. They are often so tired, in fact, that their eyes glaze over misspellings, extra punctuation, or other typographical errors. They do not notice that we have used the same phrase, "the court held," to begin the last four sentences. They skim over the subject-verb disagreement that has cropped up in the latest revision. The run-on sentence avoids their notice. So how is a teacher to reinforce the importance of careful final editing while keeping the project interesting and new? What guidance can we give our students about seeing a project through to the end and putting the final polish on a writing product that is important to all of us?
Sarah Gerwig-Moore, Fresh Ears, Fresh Eyes: Final Editing Through Reading Aloud, 63 Mercer L. Rev. 971 (2012).