TitleRewriting our comments and revisiting revision practices
NameBier, Roni L. (author), Fitzgerald, William (chair), Epstein, Richard (internal member), Rutgers University, Camden Graduate School,
Composition (Language arts),
DescriptionThe driving instructional tool in the majority of writing classrooms, comments, is failing students and instructors because comments are a tool, and not a technique. The utility of comments within the writing classroom is only as strong as its pairing with other instructional techniques. Using comments to teach comments is a flawed method of instruction, and if instructors want to properly use comments within their classes, they must first show their students how to use these techniques in improving their writing. Thus far, the focus of facilitating student revision and student growth within writing classrooms has been on the study of specific comments written by instructors on student papers. The study of such comments reveals the differences in styles, modes, and voices projected from those instructors, but it does reveal much about the intended goal of such comments, the advancement of student writing. Looking back on previous research and incorporating a multifaceted approach to revision helps to build sustainable writing instruction. A review of literature of comments suggests placing students in the center of the classroom by enabling students to take control over the revisions of their own work. This process cannot be done without teaching students how to do things with comments and how to use comments to their advantage. Starting from Joseph Harris’ Rewriting, the same steps toward revision which Harris suggests of students should be copied and applied to the way in which instructors facilitate such revision within the classroom. The improvement of student writing requires several steps which target particular issues with the status quo of commenting, and the use of Harris’ text will enable us to identify the steps. Incorporating revision into the classroom, inviting students into conversation about their text, and opening the lines of communication can help improve revision practices in writing classrooms. Through incorporating a new mastery model within the writing classroom, a technique that begins to show students how comments are made and what to do with them, students can begin to internalize the many processes which they can apply to any writing. The teacher’s goal is to help the student internalize the concepts and apply without the direct instruction of the teacher; however, many writing classrooms have lost this focus. If teachers refocus the classroom on the process of writing and even the process of editing and revising, students will become not just stronger students but writers. Adjustments in the writing classroom cannot occur overnight, but incorporating revision techniques into the course will eventually pay off as students learn to revise their work. These techniques, although not new, can prepare students for writing outside the composition classroom.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Roni L. Bier
CollectionCamden Graduate School Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.