My students strongly dislike revising their writing. I get it; I felt the same way in high school and my first couple years of college. I remember crying to my mom (the English teacher) as she tried to hand me back a paper with corrections: “I looked at it once when I was writing it, and I don’t want to look at it again!”
Because of my own experience, I am sensitive to that of my students, so I have given them a revision checklist that covers the bare minimum. My rationale behind this is that the checklist is short enough that they will at least complete it, which is important for building the idea that writing is a process, yet it covers enough to eliminate embarrassing, basic mistakes, such as capitalizing letters.
Here was the first draft:
The problem with my first draft is that some students would complete it, but some students would just check it off, and I would still find very careless errors. Here is my revised revision checklist:
This one works well because it holds students accountable for checking their errors. If they have to highlight the first letter of each sentence, I am almost 100% sure that they will capitalize that letter since it is already highlighted. If they have to record themselves reading the paper and listen to the recording, then I can guarantee that they have heard it at least twice. By interspersing concrete actions (circle the titles) with more subjective tasks (at least to them). I can ensure more accuracy in their revising. This is a work in progress, and I’m sure that I will blog about more revisions to my revision checklist. (Wow, if my high school self knew that I’d grow up to be blogging about revision checklists...)
Ms. Young is a teacher who wants to keep a record of what works!