A Group Revision StrategyThat Works
Dr. R. Kaminski
Revision, or re-seeing, is not necessarily a natural act. It draws on…the energy of anticipation…[I]t is the forward vision, as well as the backward vision, that ultimately lead to major breakthroughs in a child’s writing.
Donald Graves, 1983
Writing: Teachers and Children at Work
Revising is rethinking. Students usually think of revising as fixing spelling and grammar. However, good writers are even more interested in revising for meaning, seeking to be clearer and more effective for their audience. Students rarely attempt revisions of the latter type spontaneously…
Zemelman and Daniels,1988
A Community of Writers
Make sure (students) understand the difference between revision and editing. Construct a brick wall between the two! Revision is a composing tool; editing involves the surface features of writing. If kids confuse the two, their revisions will be first aid..instead of the radical surgery that leads to improved writing.
Ralph Fletcher, 2001
Writing Workshop: Essential Guide
“I read what I have written and I cross out a word and put another word in; a more decent word or a better word. Then if there is somewhere to use a sentence that I have crossed out, I will put it there.”
“It means taking apart what I have written and putting it back together again. I ask major theoretical questions of my ideas, respond to those questions, and think of proportion and structure...I am constantly chiseling and changing as I revise.”
The PQP Method of Responding to Writing Lyons, 1981 English Journal
- P (Praise) 1. What do you like about my paper?
- Q (Question) 2. What questions do you have about my paper?
- P (Polish) 3. What kinds of polishing do you feel my paper needs before it can be published?
P (Praise) 1. What do you like about my paper?
- Answers to question 1 identify the paper’s strengths, boost the writer’s ego, and usually, make the writer more receptive to the balanced criticism which follows.
Q (Question) 2. What questions do you have about my paper?
- Answers to question 2 help writers think about whether their papers are organized, clear, and specific. Often a teacher or student question will stimulate a writer to add specific information.
P (Polish) 3. What kinds of polishing do you feel my paper needs before it can be published?
- Answers to question 3 assist writers in the critical task of proofreading. A group of proof-reader-helpers can supportively encourage a writer to polish in a painless way. Even though writers are individually responsible for their own final drafts, a sense of community can develop in a class so students want to help all papers representing the class to be interesting and polished.
PQP Strategy Lesson, Part 1
- Arrange your desks or chairs in a circle so that every member of the group can be in easy communication with every other member.
- Each person should read his own paper aloud to the group. Members may make notes to themselves.
- If time allows, a second reading may be asked for, however, it is important that each member be given attention the first day.
- Each member of the group should be a courteous and attentive listener.
PQP Strategy Lesson, Part 2
- Group response on the first day should be generally supportive and complimentary.
- Even if a paper has a number of places which need much revision, there is always something which the group can single out to praise.
- Suggested comments:
- “My favorite part is…”
- “…sounded very effective…”
- “You were really clear (vivid, sensitive) about…”
- “Tell me more about…”
PQP Strategy Lesson, Part 3
- Praise is good for everybody. However, a writer wants to improve his work so that when he turns it in as a finished product, he will feel that it is the best that it can be. A member will feel betrayed by the group if he cannot count on them for constructive (relevant and gentle) criticism.
- Suggested comments:
- “Could you help me to see that better?”
- “Would you consider adding (taking out, changing)…?”
- “What if you moved this word or phrase?”
- “I’m not sure I understand this part clearly”
PQP Strategy Lesson, Part 4
- If you are sure a grammatical structure is wrong, explain the correct structure. If you think it is wrong but aren’t sure, get a third opinion.
- For spelling or word choice errors, when in doubt, look it up. Don’t give away the correct spelling or suggest what you think is a better word. Work it out together.
- Don’t assume the writer is aware of an error...make a suggestion.
PQP Fish Bowl Activity
- Recruit 4 volunteers to participate.
- Follow PQP Lesson Strategy using one of the Cinderella spin-off drafts.
- Reflect and discuss.