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Jul 31

Commenting - Part I

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