Archive for the ‘Revising’ Category

Horizontal divider

How Have Your Assignments Evolved?

posted: 4.30.15 by Andrea Lunsford

If you’ve been teaching for some time, I wonder if you’ve seen some of your favorite assignments evolve or change over time. I’m realizing that a number of mine have, almost without my noticing. Right now I’m thinking of my much loved “long sentence assignment.” I started giving this assignment to break up the lengthy research project my students all do, and in particular to focus for a bit on syntax and style. It’s a low stakes assignment, much like finger exercises on the piano, meant for fun and practice, though I do assign a few points to it. [read more]

Comments Off on How Have Your Assignments Evolved?
Categories: Activity Idea, Andrea Lunsford, Revising, Rhetorical Situation, Teaching Advice, Visual Rhetoric
Read All Andrea Lunsford

Horizontal divider

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]

Comments Off on The “Craft” of Peer Revision: Part IV
Categories: Activity Idea, Drafting, Learning Styles, Peer Review, Revising, Teaching Advice, Writing Process
Read All Barclay Barrios

Horizontal divider

Multimodal Mondays: Radical Revision ~ The Sequel ~ Student Multimodal Hacks

posted: 4.27.15 by Andrea Lunsford

Today’s guest blogger is Kim Haimes-Korn. She continues her series on Radical Revision – and includes assignments and examples of student projects that you don’t want to miss!

In my last post, Radically Revising the Composition Classroom, I challenged others to hack their traditional, tried and true assignments.  I decided to enact this advice in one of my own classes this semester and gave the same challenge to my students, asking them to Radically Revise a collaborative class project through a multimodal lens.   [read more]

Comments Off on Multimodal Mondays: Radical Revision ~ The Sequel ~ Student Multimodal Hacks
Categories: Andrea Lunsford, Assignment Idea, Digital Writing, Document Design, Guest Bloggers, Multimodal Mondays, Peer Review, Revising, Teaching with Technology
Read All Andrea Lunsford

Horizontal divider

Word Clouds as Revision Tools

posted: 3.10.15 by Traci Gardner

Word clouds highlight the most frequently used words in a text, using larger font sizes for the words used most often and smaller sizes for those used less often. The word cloud below, created with Wordle, highlights the most frequently used words in Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18:

These word clouds can become analytical tools as students look at the words used most frequently and notice which ones stand out. [read more]

Comments Off on Word Clouds as Revision Tools
Categories: Activity Idea, Digital Writing, Drafting, Revising, Teaching with Technology, Traci Gardner
Read All Traci Gardner

Horizontal divider

Multimodal Mondays: Composing within the Blogosphere

posted: 1.26.15 by Andrea Lunsford

Today’s guest blogger is Kim Haimes-Korn.

When I first started using blogging in my classes it was in an advanced writing class as a specialized genre, presented as an extension of the classical essay form. This was easy to demonstrate to students because of the particular characteristics:  the desire to discover, the conversational tone, the writerly movement between the specific and the universal, the strong sense of audience engagement.   I also have students create electronic portfolios in many of my classes. The portfolios provided a place for students – as working writers – to revise their writings and showcase their work in public arenas. [read more]

Comments Off on Multimodal Mondays: Composing within the Blogosphere
Categories: Assignment Idea, Guest Bloggers, Multimodal Mondays, Revising, Teaching with Technology, Writing Process
Read All Andrea Lunsford

Horizontal divider

Selling the Value of Revision

posted: 12.3.10 by archived

I have used many technologies to comment on student drafts—green or purple (never red!) pen on paper essays, the comment feature in MS Word, Google docs—but my primary goal is always to open students’ eyes to possibilities for revision. I want them to experience the perseverance of trying to say, clearly and vividly, what you mean to say; the joy of deliberating over words like colors from a paint box, or moving sections of an essay the way you would play with building blocks; the sense of comfort that writing is not finished until you declare it final. But how do I go about teaching this? Surely not by grabbing the pen out of a student’s hand to “fix” his or her writing? I tell my students that words should drip off their pens like sand, that writers don’t work in concrete. But it’s a hard sell.

When I hear my students say, “I’m done. It’s finished. I said what I want to say,” I wonder about the sources of their intractability. Part of it is boredom, no doubt, with topics they don’t care about (maybe because they didn’t spend time enough at the invention stage, or because assignments boxed them in too tightly). For some, the demands of busy lives or old-fashioned laziness may be factors. But there’s also the sense, for many, that they only need concern themselves with “fixing errors,” that correct spelling and mechanics are the chief goal in writing. [read more]

Comments Off on Selling the Value of Revision
Categories: Holly Pappas, Proofreading/Editing, Revising
Read All archived

Horizontal divider

Revision and Remix

posted: 10.22.10 by archived

When I began teaching with Ways of Reading, I had a hard time coming up with assignments that fit with my pedagogical interest in multimodal composition.  However, I discovered that composing audio and/or visual remixes is a useful way for students to put authors Bartholomae and Petrosky’s concept of revision into practice.  For those of you who are interested in finding ways to integrate technology into your composition courses, the remix is a compositional genre worth exploring.

“The Remix Project” was the final assignment in my seminar on composition, a course designed around the concept of revision as a “re-vision, or re-seeing” as Bartholomae and Petrosky write. Throughout the semester, we practiced revision as an act of transformation that alters the meaning of the original text.  By the end of the term, students had already radically revised (or remixed) several of their textual essays.

The remix project, then, gave them an opportunity to experiment with revision techniques through multiple modes of composition. [read more]

Comments Off on Revision and Remix
Categories: Pitt Instructors, Revising
Read All archived

Horizontal divider

How Baby Pictures Can Help Writers

posted: 9.16.09 by Traci Gardner

I’m not very good at perspective. I never think my latest draft is good enough. Every time I skim through, I doubt I’ve made any progress.

It’s hard to see any substantial changes when we’re deep in the writing process. That’s where baby pictures can make all the difference. No, not pictures of actual babies. Baby pictures of the texts we’re working on.

Here’s an example. Take a look at How 20 popular Web sites looked when they launched. The article includes baby pictures of the most popular sites on the Internet. You’re bound to notice some significant changes when you think about the sites as they exist today. Google looks similar to the site of today, but Facebook, MySpace, and Yahoo look nothing like today’s version. A comparison of past and present versions quickly demonstrates how much they’ve evolved.

You can easily arrange a similar comparison for the writers you teach. Early in their composing process, ask students to capture a photographic version of their work:

  • Save a first draft by printing out an extra copy or making a photocopy.
  • Have students take a snapshot of the first part of their texts with a webcam.
  • Take a screenshot of the work on the computer.
  • Snap an image with a cell phone or other available camera.

Next, save these baby pictures for later in the process. You can collect paper versions or have students submit files online. If you want, students might even share these first photographic images with one another and reflect a bit on their process so far.

Later in their composing process, explore websites from the Telegraph article and then ask students to make similar comparisons between the baby pictures of their work and their current versions. They’re bound to realize that they’ve made much more progress than they think—and gain some great perspective on themselves as writers.

Comments Off on How Baby Pictures Can Help Writers
Categories: Assignment Idea, Drafting, Revising, Writing Process
Read All Traci Gardner

Horizontal divider

Create What You Want To!

posted: 6.18.09 by Traci Gardner

Dozens and dozens of ideas float through my head every day. My thoughts are cluttered with them, but they go nowhere. I don’t post them on Twitter. I don’t write them down in my journal. I don’t even scribble them on a Post-It note so I can return to them later. I get so focused on trying to think of perfect ideas that I never write anything down.

I’ve been rethinking that process recently, thanks to photographer friend, Steve Mermelstein (@usrbingeek). Steve recommended Escaping Your Portfolio, from Chase Jarvis. In the entry, Jarvis explains that a photographer’s portfolio of work is typically thought of as a collection of outstanding shots. The problem with that way of thinking, he says, is that the “metaphysical weight alone of the word portfolio can crush the creative spirit rather than enhance it.”

As a writer, I quickly saw that Jarvis was describing the photographic equivalent of my problem. His solution is simple and liberating: “ditch the concept in your mind and wander aimlessly creating things that you want to create.”

Like Jarvis, I’ve been buying the belief that everything I post online has to be a perfect example of my work. Since anyone can read what I write online, everything I post has to be perfect. Why didn’t it ever occur to me to just label some of my writing as drafts or unpolished ideas?

I’m aiming to write more and think less for a while. Rough drafts of all those things I think about have to be better than no drafts at all, right? Don’t wait for the perfect words, the perfect shots, the perfect sounds! Just create your texts. The best ones can always be shifted into a polished collection later.

Beyond teaching me a lesson for my own writing, Jarvis’s blog entry is one that I want to share with students, especially students working on audio and visual compositions. Jarvis has the authority of a working professional who has published some great pictures. Students should easily see the connection to their own work.

After discussing the entry with the class, I’d challenge students to post at least 5–10 new things every day. Their posts might consist of words, photos, videos, or audio files. The important thing is that they don’t need to be perfect or polished. After a week or two, have students review the collections and choose some favorites. As they share their choices with you, ask them to reflect on the process of creating whatever they wanted to and how it might affect other projects that they work on.

Comments Off on Create What You Want To!
Categories: Assignment Idea, Drafting, Planning, Revising, Writing Process
Read All Traci Gardner

Horizontal divider

Grammar Math

posted: 4.9.08 by Barclay Barrios

Sometimes the best way to see something is to look at it in a whole other way.  Have your students review the material in the handbook on sentence construction and then have them create mathematical formulae for sentences.  For example,  subject + verb = simple sentence or subject – verb = fragment.  Ask them to provide a sample sentence for each formula from their current drafts or from the essay under discussion.

Comments Off on Grammar Math
Categories: Assignment Idea, Grammar & Style, Learning Styles, Punctuation & Mechanics, Revising
Read All Barclay Barrios