Writing: Why Revise, andWhat to Prioritize?Beth Godbeegodbee@wisc.edu
A few of my main points Writing assignments deepen learning, and that deepening often requires revision. Although revising is difficult work, it’s some of the most important intellectual work we do. We can become better at revision— beginning by learning how to prioritize.
Some Freewriting How does writing impact your learning? On a piece of scratch paper, please list a few ideas. You might think back to a project that really challenged you or taught you something new.
Arguments for learning bywriting, which requires revision Writing is inherently an active cognitive process. Writing provides opportunities for reflection and metacognition; writing slows down our thinking. Writing provides an opportunity to discover what we think and know (as well as to discover what we don’t know).
Writing and learning . . . Writing demands explicitness. Writing involves organizing and synthesizing (indicating relationships among) ideas. Writing makes our ephemeral thoughts more permanent and available to share with others.
Some more freewriting What is your approach to revising? When do you revise? Under what circumstances? How do you usually begin? What do you hope to accomplish when revising?
Pair-share Share what you wrote with a partner. Consider together: What does revising mean to you? What do you prioritize when revising?
Final take-away points Remember that revision aims to improve writing, which ideally deepens learning Prioritize GLOCs—and specifically those connected with the assignment’s central task Address LOCs later in the process Identify strengths (what to keep and enhance in your revision) Talk throughout the process—with friends, peer mentors, and instructors
ExtensionPutting what we’ve learned into practice What language might you use to talk about your own writing? How could you give better feedback to your colleagues? How could you ask an instructor for advice on improving your paper?