Published on February 25, 2014
Presented at ETRC by Eve Smith, Senior English Language Fellow 26.02.2014 ACADEMIC WRITING AND PEER RESPONSE ALICE S. LEE UNIVERSITY OF MACAU INDIANA UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
WHAT IS WRITING? • Do you agree or disagree with the following? • Writing is a cognitive act. • Writing is an individual act. • Writing is difficult. • Do you agree or disagree with the following? • Writing is about communication. • Writing is about documentation. • Do you agree or disagree with the following? • I like teaching writing. • I love teaching writing. • I hate teaching writing.
WHAT IS WRITING? • Writing is a social act. • Writing is about the development of at least TWO selves: • Writer self • Reader self
DEFINING ACADEMIC WRITING • Academic discourse community is complicated. • • • • • • Basic writers L1/L2 writers Disciplinary writing Genre writing Academic publishing ???
FOR OUR PURPOSES… • Our students are… • Undergraduates • New to the academic discourse community • ???
OUR AIM… • When teaching basic academic writing, we need to consider… • • • • • • • • • Content development? Text structure/organization? Argument effectiveness? Logic? Purpose? Audience? Format? Documentation style? Grammatical correctness?
WHAT SHOULD WE PRIORITIZE? • What are the foundations students can build upon? • ??? • Purpose • Every piece of writing has to have a purpose. • Audience • Every piece of writing has an intended audience. • Writer identity = writing longevity • Ownership • Investment
HOW CAN PEER RESPONSE HELP? • But first…some writing and peer response myths… Expert writers write by themselves. Expert writers do not give or receive feedback. Academic writing cannot be practiced. Novice writers do not have opinions. Novice writers do not know enough about writing to provide helpful advice to their peers. • ??? • • • • •
EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY… • My final product! • Lee, A. (2007). Making ESL textbooks more relevant to EFL students. Essential Teacher, 4(2), 33 – 35. • What happened behind the scenes? • • • • Draft 1 Draft 2 Draft 3 Draft 4
DEMYSTIFYING THE WRITING PROCESS • Writing is a _____ act. • Writing is about communicating ideas to other people (audience) for a reason (purpose). • Peer response adds the “social” to the writing process of… • • • • • Brainstorming Drafting Revising Editing Proofreading
NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN… • Take out a piece of paper and write on this topic for 10 minutes: • Advertising is now a very big business, but it is not always ethical, often encouraging people to buy things they do not really need. How do you view this issue? • But Alice, you said writing is a social act…This reads to me like a random timed essay question… • Who do you think is the audience for this type of writing? • What is the purpose of this type of writing?
L1 PEER REVIEW ≠ L2 PEER REVIEW • Problems with following L1 peer review: • L1 peer review makes a number of assumptions about writers. • Writers are familiar with the peer review process. • Peer reviewers are comfortable giving honest feedback. • Peer reviewers know what to look for. • L2 peer review process needs to revisit these assumptions.
WHAT DO TEACHERS NEED TO DO IF… • Writers are NOT familiar with the peer review process. • ??? • Teacher must model the process, not just once, but repeatedly, in small dozes. • Peer reviewers are NOT comfortable giving honest feedback. • ??? • Teacher must provide a safe environment for feedback to happen. • Peer reviewers DO NOT know what to look for. • ??? • Teacher must provide specific questions that peer reviewers can answer.
PEER REVIEW DO’S AND DON’TS • Do’s • Do’s • Don’ts • Don’ts • Don’ts
SETTING UP PAIR PEER REVIEW 1. Teacher models “think aloud” throughout the course, in small doses. 1. How to give feedback 2. How to annotate a text 2. Teacher reads through all students’ draft 1 and designs peer review questions based on a general impression of where the students’ drafts are. 3. IMPORTANT! Teacher does not mark on individual papers. 4. Before peer review day, teacher conducts a full demonstration of peer review with the form.
5. Teacher brings sample essays for students (in pairs) to practice using the peer review form. 6. On pair peer review day, students bring two copies of their draft 1 for collection. 7. Teacher randomly redistributes the drafts to different pairs. 8. Instruct student pairs that they will need to read and respond to two essays in class. 9. Write on the board: Round 1 - X minutes to read, discuss, and respond on the form. Y minutes to meet with the writer for clarification. Round 2 – X minutes to read, discuss, and respond on the form. Y minutes to meet with the writer for clarification.
BENEFITS OF PAIR PEER REVIEW • ??? • Allows writers to ask questions • Allows discussion between partners to confirm or reject ideas • Models that writing is a social act • Provides an audience of more than one for the writer to react to • Encourages scaffolding
YOUR TURN AGAIN… • Pair up • Look at your drafts and write down some questions that you might ask as a reader. • These questions can be turned into guiding peer review questions. • For example: • As a writer, after I have a completed draft, I may think, “I’m not sure how effective my thesis statement is…” • This statement can be turned into a question… • Is there an effective thesis statement in the introduction paragraph? • What do you expect to read in the rest of this essay based on this statement? Are those expectations met?
STILL YOUR TURN… • Let’s look at the questions you developed and choose a few to work with. • 1. • 2. • 3. • Exchange one of your drafts with another pair. • Apply these questions to the new draft that you have. • Write down your answers AFTER you have discussed them with your partner.
DON’T FORGET… • Writing is a _____ act. • So… • Don’t just give pair peer review answers back to the writer. • Time must be spent in class to • Allow the written ideas to be communicated. • Allow questions to be asked by the writer. • Allow clarification to happen.
DEVELOPING THE READER SELF • The peer review process encourages the development of… • Critical thinking • A reader self • A writer self • How can this be captured? • Require that writers ask questions on their drafts on peer review days. • Require a Revision plan • Assess the process work
SOUNDS LIKE A LOT OF WORK? • Peer review = working harder? • Peer review = working smarter?
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