I pass back students' previous practice essays before they begin working. We focused on transitions, tone, and dash use in the earlier essay, and I ask students to choose just one of those areas to refocus on in their current literary analysis essay. They should read my feedback and use it to improve their proficiency in the chosen target.
Why just one target? We'll be adding in several new targets during this current essay; narrowing the focus to just the new targets and one old target will help students succeed, whereas asking them to focus on all aspects of good writing could be overwhelming.
As usual on a drafting day, I ask students to work in silence, listening to personal music if desired. While collaboration helps during initial planning, good writing comes from focus, and focus is hard to find in a noisy classroom.
On this first day of drafting, there are few questions for me. Students get their thoughts into paragraph form, only occasionally clarifying how to properly cite a quote or how much of a quote is needed. To me, it seems clear that students are gaining confidence in their drafting abilities; each new assignment brings fewer questions for me.