A Personal Declaration Essay, Polishing

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Students will be able to revise an essay for content and conventions by utilizing peer feedback.

Big Idea

I have feedback--now what? Making revision happen.

Do Now: Target Review

5 minutes

As we move into the final phases of our writing process for our summative essay, the personal declaration, I ask students to review the assignment requirements. Today's Do Now requires students to open and read the original assignment sheet and be prepared to share one requirement in their own words.

While students SHOULD already have the requirements in their essays (we have, after all, annotated for all requirements and completed a peer review), I feel that the more we discuss them, the more likely they are to actually be in the essay. Too often have I read papers missing critical elements despite peer and self revision.

After attendance, I call on random students for essay requirements until we have addressed every element.

Due date reminders come next--final drafts should be printed by our next class session, during which we will reflect on our growth.


Revision and Polish

40 minutes

Students move to the lab to revise and polish their essays, marked up rough drafts in hand. As they get to work, I hear them asking each other questions:

"What does 'connect to claim' mean here?"

"How could I add an appositive?"

"Four people said I needed to move my counter-claim--why?"

More importantly, I hear other students responding with logical answers. Occasionally I am called in for back-up, but by and far, students are taking their threaded revision feedback to heart and making changes.

The combination of reviewing the requirements, self-annotating the rough draft, and gathering peer feedback on the threaded discussion has spurred the desire to improve. Students seem particularly interested in using peer feedback, perhaps because of the variety and thorough nature of the comments. In resources, check out one student's reasoning for utilizing the threaded discussion feedback.