I apologize for this post being late, I had handed it in person on time though.
- Rough drafts must be a minimum of 4 FULL typed pages; final drafts must be a minimum of 5 FULL pages. (This paper is less than 4 full pages –does not meet this specification.)
- Please use Times New Roman font, 12 point, double-spaced. (This specification is met.)
- Use MLA documentation for citations from the text. (This specification is met.)
- Remember to put your name and the date at the top left former of the first page. (For confidentiality purposes, I’m sure that this must have been included so I chose to ignore this specification).
- Always title your work. Your title should be centered and in bold. (This specification is met).
- Thesis: I made sure to comment on if the thesis was clear and if it is related back to throughout the paper by writing “How does this relate back to your thesis?” or “Great relation back to your thesis”.
- Work with assigned text: I made comments if the text that was used works with the connection they’re trying to make or if they should work on the connection a bit more.
- Organization: I mentioned if transitions were used well or if there were no transitions at all, the first two times, however since it was a consistent error, at the end of the paper I advised them to proofread their paper to make it flow a bit more. I also make suggestions as to how to do this.
- Presentation: There were minimal errors in regards to grammar and each student has a unique way of writing. It was difficult to ‘grade’ this in this paper because of the lack of flow. Also, it was difficult because it is the only paper I’ve read from this student. In my opinion it is hard to recognize style just by the first draft. If it were a final draft, it would be a bit easier to recognize after seeing the revisions made. However to be fair and to grade this paper on that, I gave the rough draft a B for the presentation since it followed those requirements of minimal errors.
The types of comments I made through this paper focus on structure (transitions, flow), if everything relates back to the arguable thesis, and if the topic questions for this essay are met. Comments in regards to only grammar do not help the student all the time because yes the student’s writing may improve but if the teacher only focuses on the grammar, then the student will never learn to catch those mistakes on their own (if everything is corrected for them) and the student will not know if their argument was well written/supported or not. Comments that sometimes oppose the student’s perspective would help in regards to giving the students a challenge to support their side even more –making their argument stronger. They will think outside of the box (the use of constructivist teaching). Sometimes statements that are made are not helpful to the student, in my opinion, I think that if you ask questions, the students will think more and understand more. While I tutored, I realized that if I just made statements like “You have no hook” or “you have no transitions,” the student just gave me a look that said “okay, what now?” Students need a sense of direction and once they are given a sense of direction the first one or two times, they end up clearing up those errors for the following papers. It is a matter of wording. Instead, I started to ask: “How can you introduce this better so that you have a hook?” and “What transitions can be used to make your sentences and paragraphs flow with each other?” The students started to think and come up with their own ideas and the following papers did not have those errors –they kept the questions I asked in mind. I realized that I said the same thing both times but one was a statement while the other was a question.
Throughout this paper I made comments about clarity and the points that the student was arguing. Some of the points were contradicting, and if the student is able to rethink their points or realize that sometimes they contradict themselves, they will be able to clean up their paper. I also made comments about if the student referred back to the introducing point they made. However, I didn’t just make comments that I thought would help the student improve on his or her writing, I also made positive comments like “great connection!” This sort of comment shows that the student is on the right track but with the other things, they may have to be a bit more clear. It motivates the student and does not put them down. They cannot only be told of the errors they make but need to be reminded that they can improve and they do have the ability to write greatly. They need that sense that they are doing well –now I do not mean that a teacher or tutor should baby their student, I mean in a regards to keeping them motivated and allowing them to know that you believe in them. Aside from just comments being made throughout the paper, I used a green pen. Red pens have bad connotations as Twenge has written about (or so I learned when I took Expos). I would do what I can to keep negative connotations away from my students (not to protect them, but to instead show them they can improve). Also, I added a paragraph at the bottom summarizing my notes. There I explain what can be worked on and what was done well. Sometimes, corrections and comments throughout the paper do not always help. They just focus on those. A longer comment at the end of the paper can include concerns about the paper as a whole or advice in reference to proofreading. This way the student just does not focus on those few comments made throughout the paper but instead, he or she focuses on the paper as a whole.