Coaching Students to Revise

Using Portfolios to Evaluate Student Writing

Author: 
Kirsten Jamen, WAC Program, UW-Madison
Description: 
Having students collect and submit portfolios--collections of drafts and finished papers--helps students see themselves as developing writers.

Why Use a Portfolio to Evaluate Student Writing?

Sample Student Self-Critique (Cover Sheet) for a Paper

Author: 
Professor Deborah Brandt, English Department, UW-Madison
Description: 
To encourage students to think critically about their writing and to encourage students to develop as writers over the semester, some instructors find it very effective to ask students to write a cover sheet (or memo or letter) for each paper, responding to questions like these.  You can, of course, adapt the questions you ask to reinforce the key elements of a particular assignment or genre.  You can use students' self-critiques as a starting point for personalizing your feedback on their work.

Self-Evaluation Cover Sheet

 

Using a Reverse Outline to Revise

Author: 
Rebecca Schoenike Nowacek, WAC Program, UW-Madison
Description: 
Rebecca Schoenike Nowacek describes a technique for helping students improve the organization of their papers by encouraging them to think about the paper more as readers and less as writers.
What is a reverse outline?
If a regular outline is something you write before you draft out your paper, a reverse outline is something you do after you write a

Organization Issues

Author: 
Professor Robert Hawkins, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, UW-Madison
Description: 
Professor Robert Hawkins’ handout offers specific advice to students on organizing paragraphs and making transitions. 
Paragraph unity.
Ideally, every sentence in a paragraph should contribute to developing some central idea.

Offering Students Encouragement As They Revise

Author: 
Ann Burgess, Biocore Program, UW-Madison
Description: 
In the following email sent to all students in a large course, Dr. Ann Burgess—former director of the Biocore program—encourages Biocore students to keep working on their revisions, even when they feel overwhelmed by criticism.
Re: Enzyme Catalysis Paper

Biocore Students:

Teaching Revision

Author: 
Rebecca Lorimer, Rebecca Schoenike Nowacek, WAC Program, UW-Madison
Description: 
Rebecca Lorimer and Rebecca Schoenike Nowacek provide a list of strategies and activities that instructors can use to teach their students what revision is and how to incorporate it as an essential step in their writing process.

Revision, revision, revision: the term is nearly a mantra in Comm-B and Writing-Intensive (WI) courses.

From Topic to Thesis

Author: 
Tisha Turk, Gender and Women's Studies, UW-Madison
Description: 
Students may do a good job of coming up with a suitable thesis or argument, but how can instructors help students to move beyond the obvious or the ordinary? In this handout, instructor Tisha Turk shows her students what she’s thinking as she reads their ideas to help them understand reader expectations

A well-constructed thesis statement helps hold an essay together by showing the reader where the paper is going to go.

In-class Discussions of Student Writing: Maximizing the Effectiveness of Your Writing Lessons and Minimizing the Class Time You Use for Them

Author: 
Molly Peeney, Slavic Languages and Literature, UW-Madison
Description: 
Instructor Molly Peeney gives step-by-step instructions for leading in-class discussions of student writing. She has used the following format for Literature in Translation 204. 

Using student writing samples as the basis of your in-class discussions about writing is an effective method to teach writing and it saves you time. Why?

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