Another dot in the blogosphere?

Responding to response essays (part 2)

Posted on: March 17, 2019

Yesterday I offered graduate students some writing tips for response essays. That set of tips addressed the issue of ill-structured writing.

The other main problem I mentioned was writer mindsets, which is harder to address. My students tend to write for themselves, i.e., they do not consider the reader and/or they write with strategies that they prefer and regardless of need.
 

 
The structuring strategies I suggest might help their writing, but only if they realise that the reader is not in the same head space as they are.

One way to learn how others perceive your work is to get them to read it and provide feedback.

Better still, reciprocate the reading and feedback to learn how someone else writes. Doing this might teach you better strategies or give you the opportunity to teach someone else.

I often bring this writing mindset issue up in class to highlight how writing for the reader is like student-centred instruction. The focus is not you; it is them — the reader or the student. Since my leaners have to do both, doing one might help the other.

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