Friday, November 16, 2007

Professional Journals on Writing 15

How effective are student comments on peers’ papers? Author finds that student comments on their peers’ papers are superficial, that the student writers do not revise along the lines suggested by their peers and that student comments are not as valuable as the teacher’s. The students say they like peer response groups but she, the teacher, is skeptical. ME Casey. Teaching English in the Two-Year College (Mar. 05), 278.

What are some techniques for teaching students how to write poetry? Students underline words and phrases on a page torn out of an old book; or in books they are reading. Arrange the words and phrases into a poem. I tried it. Here’s mine, taken from several pages in Schlesinger’s Robert Kennedy and His Times: “A profound emotion—the dread of war;/ Unrelenting antagonisms lead to the end of everything;/ The only victor—compulsive gloom.” L Gajdostik. Classroom Notes Plus (Apr. 05), 7-8.

How prepare students for writing? One way of preparing to write an essay: Summarize what happens in the beginning, in the middle and end of your essay. List 3 words or phrases that summarize the contents of your essay. HE Ollmann. Notes Plus (Oct. 04), 8-10. Begin by outlining your article or book. C Willis. The Writer (Nov. 04), 27. How to get ideas for stories. Look for things that leave you with lingering questions. Write the story to answer those questions. T Bailey. The Writer (May 05), 13. Read the obituaries and find stories in the gaps—what’s missing from the person’s life record. L Batt. The Writer (Jan. 05), 29. Tell the story behind a photograph. L Batt. The Writer (Jan. 05), 29. Listen to stories friends, relatives and strangers tell you. L Batt. The Writer (Jan. 05), 29. With a few minutes to go in class, someone said, “Red” and everyone began to write. L Batt. The Writer (Jan. 05), 29. Start with a setting with enough detail that it can’t be mistaken for someplace else. Then let people loose in that place. L Bat. The Writer (Jan. 05), 29. Write regularly, but not always for publication. P Campbell. The Writer (Jan. 05), 34. Write something different from your preferred, habitual genre. P Campbell. The Writer (Jan. 05), 35. In ten words write the purpose of your piece. Begin with, “The purpose of this is….” P Campbell. The Writer (Jan. 05), 36. Develop a specialty. P Campbell. The Writer . (Jan. 05), 36. Write for increasing amounts of time, 5, 10, 15 minutes, using a timer. Introduce the topic and write. BD Barrett. The Writer (Jan. 050, 39-40. In the first draft write what you know and what you need to know about the topic. M Anderson. The Writer (Nov. 04), 22-23. Begin article with a single sentence that summarizes the article succinctly. Suggested by AV Manzo.How help students gain insight into how writers write? Share with students quotes, articles, etc. that reveal how professional writers write. Also, survey the faculty and community to learn how people who write prepare for, organize and revise their writing. Suggested by JS Damico. Reading Teacher (Apr. 05), 644-652.

When is conscious use of “mistakes” effective in writing? Author points out that many common “errors” [sentence fragments; “they” instead of “he,” and beginning sentences with coordinating conjunctions] when used purposely can be very effective stylistically and are so used in published materials. [The problem is to make sure the students are using them stylistically, not making mistakes they don’t recognize.] D Gorrell. Teaching English in the Two-Year College (May 05), 393-402.

How can teachers of writing improve their teaching? Teachers meet to evaluate their students’ writing samples together. Enables them to identify problems that need to be addressed. D Fisher, et al. Reading Teacher (Apr. 05), 656-666.

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