Posts Tagged ‘Composing Processes’

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The “Craft” of Peer Revision: Part IV

posted: 4.29.15 by Barclay Barrios

In this series we’ve looked at a few ways to make the craft of peer revision more “crafty.”  All of these exercises tend to be a big hit in my classes and I usually end up with stronger papers to grade because of this work.

But why?  Why do students do this work so enthusiastically and so well?  I have some theories: [read more]

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Categories: Activity Idea, Drafting, Learning Styles, Peer Review, Revising, Teaching Advice, Writing Process
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The “Craft” of Peer Revision: Part III

posted: 4.22.15 by Barclay Barrios

So far in this series, we’ve looked at coloring (essentially that’s what they’re doing with highlighters), cutting, and taping.  In this part we’re going to move into drawing.

“Drawing the Argument” is one of my favorite class activities when discussing a new reading.  Working in groups, students draw the argument of the essay, locating quotations that support their visual interpretation. [read more]

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Categories: Activity Idea, Barclay Barrios, Drafting, Peer Review, Teaching Advice, Writing Process
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The “Craft” of Peer Revision: Part II

posted: 4.15.15 by Barclay Barrios

In my last post, I suggested ways to use highlighters in peer revision.  In this one, we’re moving into dangerous territory—dangerous because scissors are involved (no running!).

Bring a few pairs of scissors to class and some tape.  Ask students to cut up a copy of their paper into individual paragraphs and then to shuffle them.  (You can also ask them to do this part before class, bringing in the cut up paragraphs in an envelope.) Peers are given the individual slips of writing and then asked to put them in the right order, taping them back together. [read more]

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Categories: Activity Idea, Barclay Barrios, Drafting, Peer Review, Teaching Advice, Writing Process
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The “Craft” of Peer Revision: Part I

posted: 4.8.15 by Barclay Barrios

Though we have diverse approaches to teaching writing, my experience suggests that one of the commonalities we all share is some sort of peer feedback. Whether we call it peer revision or peer editing or something else, there seems to be wide agreement that seeking feedback is an important part of making writing better. The creative writers in my department would perhaps call this part of the “craft” of writing.  We are more likely to call it part of the writing process.  Regardless, in this series of posts I want to riff a bit on that notion of “craft” by sharing some peer revision strategies I use that are “crafty.” These exercises are all class-tested and Barclay-approved.  I have some theories on why they tend to work so well, which I will share in a later post. For now, though… highlighters! [read more]

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Categories: Activity Idea, Barclay Barrios, Drafting, Peer Review, Teaching Advice, Writing Process
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A writing assignment—in tiny steps?

posted: 2.5.15 by Andrea Lunsford

Flying across the country a few weeks ago, I read Diogo Mainardi’s The Fall: A Father’s Memoir in 424 Steps (you can hear an interview with the author here). It’s a slim book—166 pages—so I had time to read it twice through, which I did with pleasure and gratitude. While the story of Mainardi’s son Tito’s botched birth in a Venice hospital, which left him with cerebral palsy, is gripping from first to last, what fascinated me most about the book was its structure: it is divided into 424 brief passages, some as short as a four-word sentence (“Tito has cerebral palsy,” which opens the book), others as long as half a page. [read more]

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Categories: Andrea Lunsford, Assignment Idea
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How Do We Revise?

posted: 11.6.14 by Barclay Barrios

This week’s guest blogger is Rebecca Jensen.  Rebecca is an MFA student at Florida Atlantic University where she teaches two classes of first-year composition. She worked as fiction editor for Driftwood Press, a literary magazine based in Tampa and is currently nonfiction editor for FAU’s Coastlines. After sixteen years spent living in England, Rebecca is enjoying her rediscovery of Florida, using the experience to investigate themes of travel and identity in her own creative work.

 In this post Rebecca turns the question of revision back on ourselves.  I have to admit that after reading it I realize I can’t readily articulate how I revise either.

“But Miss Jensen, how do you revise?”

It’s my first semester as an MFA student and instructor of English, so you would think that I’d be able to answer this with ease. Yet the question posed by one of my students took me off guard. One of the most important qualities I have always looked for in a teacher is confidence, and I hope that this is what my students usually see in me. So when I was faced with this question, I hated to admit in front of them all that I don’t actually know how to do it. I don’t have a specific technique, and I don’t hold the key to the revision process. [read more]

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“Felt Sense” and Expository Writing

posted: 9.24.14 by Barclay Barrios

I just finished rereading Sondra Perl’s essay “Understanding Composing” reproduced in the excellent Bedford resource Teaching Composition: Background Readings. I’m teaching Perl in our pedagogy course for new graduate teaching assistants, ENC 6700 Introduction to Composition Theory and Methodology; the essays forms part of a cluster of readings on drafting and audience. [read more]

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Splendid failures?

posted: 9.4.14 by Andrea Lunsford

William Faulkner considered The Sound and the Fury (1929) a failure, albeit a “splendid” failure. As he said in a 1957 interview:

I tried first to tell it with one brother, and that wasn’t enough. That was Section One. I tried with another brother, and that wasn’t enough. That was Section Two. I tried the third brother, because Caddy was still to me too beautiful and too moving to reduce her to telling what was going on, that it would be more passionate to see her through somebody else’s eyes, I thought. [read more]

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