Yesterday in class, along with submitting your first Check, Please! assignment, you examined three of the paragraphs that students collaboratively composed last Wednesday on some of the habits of mind cultivated by successful college students. The paragraphs that follow are revised versions of those paragraphs. Changes I made include ones of punctuation, diction, and grammar. The paragraphs would benefit from additional concrete details, too, but those particular additions can be made only by the students themselves. Keep the annotated handout in your pocket portfolio, and look to it as a model for editing for both individual and group assignments.
Student Writing, Sample One
Persistency, or continuing when faced with adversity, poses challenges for students who procrastinate. One member of our group shared an example from many years ago when they [he or she if the person is not nonbinary] received a failing grade on their [see previous pronoun note] first exam. Because the student did not study for the exam, he/she/they earned a failing grade, a grade that no student wants to earn and no teacher wants to record in the gradebook. That experience prompted him/her/they to develop the habit of preparing for class. By completing the same routine over and over, the student found himself/herself/themselves ready for any situation. By practicing consistent persistence, that student—and all of the rest of us—can always be successful.
Student Writing, Sample Two
Flexibility, or the ability to adapt in a new environment and unfamiliar situations, resonates with each of us in our group. Our group members are very similar in terms of how we have adapted to situations that challenged us to be flexible. For example: [name ommitted for anonymity]’s work environment involved conflicts with priorities and time management. In order to accommodate to such issues, he went with the flow when he faced problems at work. Doing so enabled him to minimize his stress, and he could often relax.
Student Writing, Sample Three
Curiosity—or the desire to learn new things about issues, problems, people, or policies—is a habit of mind that all of us have cultivated. We all grew up wanting to explore the unknown, wanting to learn the realities of other people and look at the world from different perspectives. [Name omitted for anonymity], specifically, is very curious about the food in different cultures. She was very picky when she was young but her willingness to try new foods stemmed from her innate curiosity, she learned which ones she liked through and trial and error. [Name omitted for anonymity] developed the habit of curiosity in the classroom. For him/her/they, school opened up broad subjects like psychology, which developed into a curiosity about the anatomy of the brain. [Name omitted for anonymity] is curious about the uniqueness of the human experience. She is fascinated by how we all experience the same life so differently. Embracing the beauty of difference allows small connections to manifest into much more. Through travelling, meeting new people, and experiencing other cultures, her curiosity has only grown. Our curiosity mindsets have enabled us to branch out and expand our knowledge.
Guidelines for Writing and Editing
- When you’re composing collaboratively, make sure that everyone—not just the notetaker—is involved in the writing process.
- After you have completed composing the piece, allow time for every group member to review the writing. If you recommend changes, let your group know and revise as needed.
- Whether you’re writing collaboratively or alone, read your writing aloud. Hearing awkward passages will indicate where you need to edit for brevity. Noting where you pause in your reading may indicate where you need to add a comma or another punctuation mark.
- Avoid passive constructions. The subject of the sentence should perform the action rather simply serve as a passive recipient—or worse, an absent subject.
The work was completed. Active: The students collaboratively composed the assignment.
For Wednesday’s class, read Matt Richtel’s New York Times article “Blogs versus Term Papers.” Annotate (make notes in the margin) as you read, and afterward complete a short, fifty to one-hundred word, summary in your journal/writer’s notebook. Those of you in the 9:15 class (section 23) received a paper copy of the article in class. Those of you in the 10:40 class (section 24) should read the copy posted on Blackboard in the Readings folder or the one attached at the end of this post. Rather than annotating the article (since those of you in section 24 don’t have a paper copy yet), make your notes in your journal before you compose your summary of the article. In class on Wednesday I will give you a paper copy.
Important Note: The pages of the paper copies of “Blogs versus Term Papers” are not printed in the correct order. The front-to-back order is 1-3-2-4, so the pages should be read in this order: (1) front of first page, (2) front of second page, (3) back of first page, (4) back of second page. I apologize for the inconvenience.