Thursday, December 6, 2007

Some further clarification...

A student wrote for clarification about two of the assignments on which you're working this week and when the last day of the course will be:

1. The last day of class will be the 19th. Next Sunday, the 16th, you'll have a draft put together of the *whole* portfolio, and you'll turn this draft in. This week you're working on a draft of the cover letter, which is due this Sunday. The last three days of class, you'll have a chance to proofread and polish your portfolio, and I'll have a chance to answer any last minute questions and provide clarification on concepts and assignments.

2. On the pre-writing exercise: you're to do the pre-writing exercise--the continuing assignment you do in your metadiscoruse blog--for the Sunday formal drafts; this includes the draft of the cover letter due this Sunday and the draft of the process paper you just completed.

3. On the peer editing assignment: I think you may be confusing proofreading with revision. In revision, you make changes to deep level content. Issues of voice, tone, paragraph development, paragraph arrangement, thesis, focus, citation, etc. all fall under revision. In proofreading, you are looking at surface level features, that is, the features of writing which have the least to do with meaning. Here, you look at issues of spelling, sentence structure, minor stylistic changes, and issues of grammar, punctuation, and usage. These changes should be the ones you're making in the peer-editing assignment. In the peer editing assignment you're doing this week, you're dealing with surface issues of the text, so you'll make changes in the sentences of the text instead of making comments at the top of the text. As you do you'll highlight the changes you make in your color. Please note the difference between this editing/proofreading exercise and the collaborative comments you've been making about each other's drafts.

The reason proofreading and revision are usually presented as two different stages of the writing process deal with how best to invest one's time. Think about it, it just isn't efficient to go through multiple revisions of a draft proofreading as you go; instead, you can learn a process to catch most surface level errors and go through the proofreading process once *after* you've stopped changing the text you'll proof.

1 comment:

Jason Williams said...

Thank you Steve! The assignments are much clearer to me now.