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Each class enrolls up to twenty-three students, and I cus- tomarily teach three or four sections of composition each term. Each memo poses four to five questions particular to the assignment, questions that focus on the challenges faced by the students, the decisions they have made, their self-assessment of their writing, and their primary concerns as they look ahead to revision.
The memos are not graded, so students freewrite their responses. Students are required to submit a blank audiotape cassette with every draft submitted for com- ment.
The instruc- tor keeps a written record in the form of three- to four-sen- tence summaries describing the gist of each comment.
Students receive a handout on tips for customized research paper using tape-recorded comments when they get back their first paper.
These descriptors provide stu- dents with a sense of how far the draft has progressed toward being polished enough to publish in their final portfolio. At the conclusion of the course, stu- dents make a selection of their writing for final assessment. The portfolio may be negotiated between the instructor and students, or the instructor may decide on its contents. Usu- ally, the portfolio allows students to omit less-successful writ- ing by requiring three polished pieces out of five assigned projects, for example, but the actual number of finished projects can vary. Students also complete an introductory reflective piece, which appears as the first item in the portfo- lio, usually in the form of a letter to the instructor. Tape-recorded response is more extensive than written response (two minutes of comments equal one full double-spaced type- written page of written comments), giving students more detailed reader response with which to work.
The early-middle-late grad- ing approach assumes that each draft is in progress and that the student will be actively revising it in order to move it along to a final, finished stage. But because some drafts will not be revised in a portfolio system, students must make choices about which projects to complete.
The combination of these strategies encour- ages, even requires, students to take an active role as writers, listeners, and thinkers in the composition course. Students can learn more about their own learning through reflection: When composition instruction shifted its focus from the final products of writing to the process by which those prod- ucts were composed, the need for students to become more self- aware increased. The portfolio also requires reflection in the form of the introductory letter. Students need both formative and summative evaluations to improve as writers: According to Louise Wetherbee Phelps (1989), theories underlying teaching practices evolve toward greater depth - 266 - A Comprehensive Plan to Respond to Student Writing (49) , in response, no doubt, to continued theorizing about the nature of composing processes. Instructors need strategies that help students break out of the pervasive so- cialization into a grading system that makes them unable to fig- ure out how to succeed without being graded every step of the way (Kohn 1993). Thus, there is a place in composition classes for formative responses, responses that can influence the writing process in ac- tion. That kind of comment is formative rather than summative be- cause it opens up the possibilities of revision rather than closing down the project as completed.
They work particularly well with the diverse student body at my cam- pus. Many of my students have come to college with the hope that they can develop more successful study habits than they had in earlier school experiences. Many of the students have been away from school for a long time, and many of them have been unsuccessful in earlier attempts at college. The familiar methods of response (assign a project, collect it, write comments on it, assign it a grade) have not proved particularly successful for a number of my students. They usually welcome the alternatives described here because the alternatives provide a fresh start and because they invite the students themselves to be more active and reflective learners. You can answer each question in separate paragraphs or in the form of a single long paragraph. But plan on writing a full page in answer to my questions. Be ERIC - 268 - A Comprehensive Plan to Respond to Student Writing sure to complete your memo when you finish your first draft, and pro- vide your peer group members with copies. I urge you to save your memos since they may help you later in revising your papers and in preparing your portfolio. Which part of your paper is best college essay help the most successful or best part? Were there ideas, examples, stories that are not in your help with essays assignments draft that you considered including? How best college essay help would it affect your draft if they were included?
How would you describe the Ideal Reader for your paper? What three questions do you have for your peer group to consider as they read the draft and memo at order cheap essay online home? What should I try to help you with as I comment on the draft? Find a quiet place to listen without interruptions. Try to listen to the comments as soon as possible after receiving your folder back. Listen to the tape straight through without pausing. Listen again to the tape with your draft and memo in front of you. Pause the tape to write down notes of things you want to remember or discuss with me, either in my office or in your weekly letters. Jot your notes right on the draft, at the appropriate points in the text if possible.
Listen carefully for positive comments — they will be there! I hope you will feel good about your draft and want to revise it. Freewrite for five minutes about your reactions — ideas that occur to you, ques- tions you might have for me, plans for revision.
These notes will be helpful when you do revise best college essay help or when you come to see me. Leave your tape set at the conclusion of my comments so that I can record best college essay help the next set of comments when you hand in the tape again. Finally, revise your draft and resubmit it for more comments. Only if you want your written work to earn you a higher grade! Most of us are very sensitive about our writing, however, and often anything less than total praise can be upsetting. Appendix C Early-Middle-Late Grading How do I grade student drafts? My comments will try to guide you toward making useful and effective revisions, and you may submit a revised version of any of your papers whenever you choose, as many times as you choose.