Revision Strategies of Student Writers and Experienced Adult Writers 





This reading is definitely the most interesting to me thus far. Personally, I have always been the type of student and writer that valued pre writing, drafting and revising. I was shocked to even hear that others do not feel the same way. In college was the first time I realized that some people do feel like they write their best draft the first time. I am absolutely not that person. I use my first draft to get all my thoughts out on the page and try my best to hit all the important aspects. I am heavy on revision because my piece truly does change dramatically. For me it is not only a time to correct grammatical errors or ensure I am phrasing a line in the best way. I truly move aspects of my text around, maybe add more detail, quote a text, adding points, and clarifying. Most of the time my first drafts are terrible and underdeveloped. 

After reading the text, I found it interesting to learn that writing evolved from speech, which cannot be revised. I never thought about that before. It makes sense to me why revision would not be popular in the early days of writing. I even thought about how I revise my papers by reading them aloud as if I am delivering a speech and how that brings me clarity.

 Nancy Sommers goes on to discuss how students typically revise. She explored how students often say that they knew something was wrong with their writing but they could not exactly pinpoint it. She says, “The students do not have strategies for handling the whole essay. They lack procedures or heuristics to help them reorder lines of reasoning or ask questions about their purposes and readers” (383). I could not agree with that statement. Often when grading my students’ essays I will conference with them and they tell me they knew something was off. I just do not know how exactly that problem could be fixed in today’s education. I guess we, as teachers, would have to drive home the purpose of writing and less of the structure and grammatical aspects of writing.


One response to “Revision Strategies of Student Writers and Experienced Adult Writers ”

  1. Chris Friend Avatar

    Sure sounds to me like you answered your own question right at the end. But also, you show that Sommers points to the problem. When she says students can’t “reorder lines of reasoning or ask questions about their purposes and readers,” that suggests reasoning, purpose, and audience are difficult concepts. What assignments do students face where they must address any of those three concepts? Even the thought of reasoning often gets reduced to form: If a student creates a paper of the right length, articulating the right kinds of language, the text passes.

    What sorts of assignments can we create that would give students the experience of navigating a real audience, or writing for a self-determined purpose, or using reasoning to compel someone to take action? I suspect if we created situations in which students faced these challenges, we could help them learn the skills needed to navigate them.

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