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Aug 03

Open to Advice Part II

Take what you did in Open To Advice Part I a step further. Have an editing conversation with your parents, and continue to practice being open and accepting. 

1. Give your piece to a parent or a guardian. Again, have a conversation with them. Really listen to what they have to say, even if you have never asked them for help before.


2. Be conscious of the conversations you just had and revise. Be open to change and help.



Once you have revised your piece with your feedback in mind, go back to either your friend or parents or guardians and have another conversation with them about feedback. Is there more you can improve upon? Keep an open mind -- and talk.

[Creative Commons Lisence: Randy Heinitz, non-commercial,

Jul 31

Commenting - Part I

A first step for classroom to take to begin giving each other feedback.

As a group, make a plan for the best way to give and receive comments. 

External readers -- peers, teachers, friends -- can provide you an honest response to your writing along with specific observations that can help you improve your work and your ability to learn how to edit yourself -- a vital skill to being able to express yourself well.

For those giving the feedback, the key is to:
1. Notice what you notice when you are reading someone else's work;
2. Articulate what you notice in a way that is well-received.
3. AND, if you can give the writer some details on where you got confused, or where you got really interested, that will help them immensely.
4. A hidden gain is that you, the commenter, will begin to look at your own work with the same objectivity and this will help you improve as a writer.

With this exercise, you'll need to get your teacher(s) involved:

  • Conduct a classroom discussion to set the guidelines for giving feedback in this digital space. YWP encourages students to lead the discussion with the teacher taking notes that everyone can see (projector? smartboard?) Some questions to ask each other:
  1. What is the purpose of commenting? Why are we providing each other comments?
  2. What is a useful comment?
  3. What should be the focus of our comments?
  4. Should we comment on grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc?
  5. What about throwaway language, like "That's amazing!" "You're a great writer!"
  6. Should everyone get a comment? How do we ensure that?

Establish some guidelines and then have someone post them in Resources on your site.

Some resources on commenting: Overview: https://mycommunity.ywpvt.org/node/273; On Commenting: https://mycommunity.ywpvt.org/node/240

Jul 31
admin's picture

Commenting -- Overview

To create a writing classroom, feedback becomes an important part of the work. This is where youths learn that the secret to good writing is good self-editing, that exchange of feedback builds community and that external audience fosters purpose and self-motivation. In digital writing, the most complete method of providing feedback involves three and sometimes four circles of responses to the writing:

Jul 27

Open to Advice - Part I

Take a piece you have written and have conversations about feedback with a few members of your community. 

Feedback helps your writing, but sometimes we don't want to hear it. Use this challenge to help you practice being more open to constructive criticism.

A huge part of writing is revision, and to revise, we need to know what needs to be looked at. Feedback from a friend, a teacher, a YWP mentor can really help you identify trouble areas. Yet, let’s be honest, sometimes it’s really hard to accept feedback or criticism on something you worked really hard on. To grow as writers, we need to practice being open to feedback.


1. Take one of your recent My Community pieces that you have not yet edited.

2. Give yourself feedback on your work. What could you improve? What are the big details (not grammar) that need your attention?


3. Give your piece to a friend. Look at their feedback, and have a conversation with them about their comments. Be open and accepting of their advice, and make sure to thank them. The key is to have a productive conversation, not to get offended.

4. Move on to Part II.

[Creative Commons Lisence: Alan Levine, non-commercial, https://www.flickr.com/photos/cogdog/]


Commenting - Part II

Give a comment to get a comment. It makes the writing world go round...

View Respond

All responses to Commenting - Part II

Jul 26
admin's picture

On Commenting (and Sprouts)