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ERIC Number: ED350613
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Pages: 7
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
A Class Exercise in Proofreading: Getting Students To Read What They Write.
Conely, James
Since students enter college with a basic knowledge of the mechanics of writing, including grammar, spelling, and punctuation, most student writing mistakes amount to a failure to see what they have actually written. Thus, instructors must help students to apply knowledge they already have and to see their own errors through careful proofreading. Textbook techniques for teaching proofreading skills are academic and impersonal, and therefore not very useful. Getting students to recognize problems in their writing is an important challenge which is best dealt with in class exercises. Small group work, in which students read and comment on the work of the other group members, is effective. In a directed class exercise, students exchange and read papers that have not been marked. They read individually without discussion with the writers, after which they must answer objective questions about the papers, such as identifying issues, topic sentences, thesis statements, and the overall organization. Then -- still without discussion -- the papers are returned to the original writers so that they can see what their readers have determined. The restriction against talking is then lifted and discussion between student and writer is encouraged. This interchange of ideas reveals strengths and weaknesses, but more importantly, students have the immediate feedback that only a class exercise can provide as to how well ideas have been communicated in writing. This kind of work does not address mechanical mistakes, but deals with the more fundamental concerns of proofreading for logic and content. (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Error Monitoring
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the College English Association (23rd, Pittsburgh, PA, March 27-29, 1992).