Reflection: Trust and Respect Analyzing Sample Essays to Make Revision Changes - Section 4: Evaluating Our Own Essays

 

Teaching writing is hard, but teaching revision is even harder. 

I ascribe to the believe that writing can always be improved.  Nothing that is written is ever perfect, and that's where the danger lies. If I, as a teacher, always demand that writing can always be improved, students will learn to manipulate that and write rough drafts that are below their actual ability level so they have something do for revision so they get those points for revision. It turns into a game in which everyone loses.

What it boils down to is trust and respect.  Both the teacher and student need to respect the writing process and trust that both teacher and student are working to make writing better in good faith.  And that starts with the teacher.  If my students don't feel that I respect their writing choices, the whole system breaks down.  If they feel that I will deduct points because they haven't made enough changes, the system breaks down. 

That's why I like the following questions so much:

  • Did you say what you wanted to say?
  • Did you say it the way you wanted to say it?
  • Is someone else going to understand it the way you want them to?

Those questions still give guidelines, but they respect the writing process and the writer themselves.

  Teaching and Revision
  Trust and Respect: Teaching and Revision
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Analyzing Sample Essays to Make Revision Changes

Unit 11: Analyzing Literature and Integrating Knowledge with Act 2 of “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street”
Lesson 14 of 14

Objective: Students will be able to write an informative essay by reviewing the parts of an essay, analyzing the effectiveness of sample essays, and making changes to a rough draft.

Big Idea: In which we compare our writing to others to see how we can improve.

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3 teachers like this lesson
Subject(s):
English / Language Arts, Writing, informational text, informative essay, rough draft
  85 minutes
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