Archive for December, 2007

Writing is such a strange thing

Posted: December 14, 2007 in meta, writing

I’ve been writing for most of my life. Not just my adult life; I started writing when I was six years old and found a typewriter in the closet. I wrote a ‘novel’ then, thirty six pages of typed story. It was awful, but I was six, so it’s okay.

I started writing real creative work when I was about ten or eleven, picked up speed when I turned fourteen, and wrote my first novel my Freshman year. I’ve since written about 15 others, one which was a hair’s breath away from being published by Bantam books (they did ask for a rewrite), and several more that might still be published some day.

Of course, that writing isn’t academic writing. But even that I’ve been doing for a long time. (more…)


My paper is really coming together. I need to move a few things around, but the essence of it is pretty solid. As I worked through it last weekend, I found that discount peer response just makes sense. I’m kind of amazed no one has ever written about this before. Of course, probably someone has; I just haven’t found it.

There’s a bit of parallel I still need to finalize, but the two (user testing and peer response) map so well onto each other that I’m frankly somewhat amazed.

Today in class I did an informal survey that helped me feel more confident about my findings. All semester, I have allowed students to perform a discount peer response on their papers for extra credit. If they took the papers to someone else and had that someone respond to the paper, then created a new draft based on the response, they gained two extra points. They could do this up to three times per semester. As I intended, those who did this generally didn’t need the extra credit (as a paper written in five drafts will invariably get a better grade than one written in two).

What I asked them today was, of those who did the peer response outside of class, which was more effective? Was peer response more helpful in class or out of class? (more…)