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Effective Approaches to Peer Writing Workshops

Workshop for Duquesne faculty, fall 2010
by Jim Purdy on 20 September 2010

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Transcript of Effective Approaches to Peer Writing Workshops

Effective Approaches to Peer Writing Workshops Peer writing workshop an activity where two or more writers read one another’s writing and provide feedback regarding its effectiveness, identifying strengths and weaknesses and offering suggestions for revision Benefits of peer writing workshops Students
receive feedback about a text's effectiveness
have a deadline to have a draft ready
expand their notion of audience
develop their revision skills
learn vocabulary to discuss writing
see how other students approached an assignment
take a more reflective stance on their writing
realize if they are on the right track Instructors
reinforce the value of a process view of writing
receive better drafts
increase student engagement with their writing
save time Possible drawbacks Students
may not want to participate
may receive “bad” feedback Instructors
must spend time planning
can be pressed for class time Ways to integrate peer workshop into courses Class time
during class
outside of class
combination Medium
hard copy Number
multiple mini-workshops
one overall workshop
combination Group configuration
pairs vs. groups
instructor-led peer writing conferences
anonymous vs. named writers and reviewers
student- vs. instructor-selected partners
same group all semester vs. different colleagues for each workshop Strategies to encourage productive student feedback Questions
provide specific questions
connect questions to the grading criteria
avoid only yes/no questions
don’t ask students to comment on too much
ask students to mark up drafts Process/procedure
model what effective peer response looks like
ask students to respond to suggestions they received
advise students to save editing for later
conduct workshops long enough before an assignment is due Assessment
evaluate student participation
ask students to hand in their drafts and feedback
have a policy in place for late or unprepared students “writing is almost always collaborative. Hardly anything written, be it literary or transactional, is the work of one person from beginning to end” (Leahy 46)
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