Threaded Revision for Literary Analysis Essays

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Students will be able to strengthen their own and others' writing by participating in a threaded revision.

Big Idea

Many voices can lead to great changes--using threaded revision to strengthen student writing.

Do Now: 3 Questions

5 minutes

To prepare for our threaded revision, I ask students to write 3 questions on the top of their essays. These questions should be related to standards they are concerned about in their current work. For example, students might write:

  • Does my caption adequately connect my media to my essay?
  • Are my body paragraphs focused on one topic each?
  • Do I use a good variety of transitions?
  • What more could I add to my conclusion?


Threaded Revision

40 minutes

This activity requires students to give feedback to multiple papers, resulting in essays with advice from a variety of perspectives and writing abilities. It works best when well organized, including room set-up and clear rules.

Room Set-up

I ask students to arrange the room in a large circle so that we may easily pass papers from person to person. I also ask students to arrange themselves so that any students who are missing their papers are seated next to students who do have their papers; this prevents large gaps of inactivity as students wait for papers to arrive at their desk for revision.

Clear Rules

Students must write at least one critical comment on each essay they read; they may address 1 of the questions at the top of the essay or any other standard we have studied in the unit. If they have time to write more comments, they should, and they should also correct any grammatical errors they notice.

To hold students accountable for their comments, I ask them to initial their critiques. This allows me to assess how well students can evaluate the writing of others and prevents any off-task or inappropriate comments.

While we work, students should remain silent so that everyone can focus and leave the best quality feedback possible.

The Process

Students pass their papers one person to the right. I give students 4 to 5 minutes (watch the class to see how long they need) to read the essay and write at least 1 comment. When time is "up," I instruct students to pass the essay to the right again. We go through 6-7 rounds during the class, which gives students plenty of feedback to use when they revise during our next class.

When we near the end of the hour, I ask students to pass essays back to their owner, giving them enough time to read their feedback and ask clarifying questions of me and of their peers.