Getting Response from Others

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Getting response from others will enhance your writings. Working in a group with other writers can help you develop and revise your work. Such groups work well for several reasons:

• They give you a chance to write for an immediate audience other than your instructor.

• You get the chance to discuss you drafts with actual readers who respond to your work.

• You get immediate feedback as you develop your work.

• Working with other writers can bolster your confidence. You’ll see firsthand that other writers also struggle and that most writers’ first drafts are less than excellent.

• You’ll get in the habit of working collaboratively : a skill you’ll find valuable in many situations.

Some Guidelines for Working in Groups :

Many writers are initially shy about working in groups, particularly if they’ve never done it before. Sometimes they‘re reluctant to comment on each other’s work wondering “Who am I to criticize other people’s writing? Our answer : Don’t think of responding to a draft as criticizing. Your role is that of an interested reader who may have good questions and some useful comments to offer. Some writers who are new to this process say they don’t know what to look for. The response forms should help on that score. We have found such response sheets useful for responding to both large and small – scale drafts.

We believe it’s useful to start group work with certain ground rules.

• Agree that no one starts out by apologizing or by making excuses. Drafts are first efforts and apologies just waste time.

• For first drafts, focus on large – scale concerns. Save comments on language, spelling and details for the second draft.

• Concentrate on what the writer is saying. Try to understand main points and how the writer develops and supports them.

• Avoid arguing with the writer about his or her ideas or opinions. Even if you disagree with them, your job is to respond to the writing, not to the opinions expressed.

We think it’s useful to respond to a draft on a separate piece of paper rather than one the draft itself.

Other Pages in This Section :

  • An Overview of The Revision Process

  • A Plan for Revising In Stages

  • When Should You Stop Revising?

  • Successful Writing Index

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