From the category archives:


Revision or Editing

by Dr Davis on April 3, 2016

Rebecka Scott, Abilene Christian U
“Holistic Revision Instead of Afterthought Editing”

connecting rhetoric, composition, and WC theories to editing and publishing

incorporation of scaffolding and peer review, becoming increasingly aware of writing process

would not recognize term re-writing
instead revision and editing separated in classroom
useful for helping explain: re-envision

creates inconsistencies
also we ignore editing as a recursive process

many comp students do not understand rewriting as a complex stage of writing

initial steps of evaluation

writing considered linear. Writing still linear. Comp studies, though, it is recursive.

Rhetoric for Writing Teachers, Lindemann
Not separate stages. Instead, the writers are prewriting, writing, and editing during the experience.
Defines rewriting as including revising and editing. These tasks are separate but equally relevant for rewriting. (RS includes proofreading)
Wants to draw rewriting back into the end. Revision isn’t the last stage of composing.

Lack of connection between revision and editing. More space given to revision than editing.
Revision supersedes term rewriting.
Editing = final check for formatting

Looked at various freshman composition textbooks on topic.

Rewriting is part of the writing process.

Books don’t show how they are cyclical. Books don’t even use language consistency.

Emphasis of one over the other in classroom can influence students.
Students are most concerned with grammar.
Organization and syntax matter.
Essentially the same act with a different focus.
Limited research on best way to teach these.

Initial steps:
Realign by evaluating language we use
Engage in discussion of recursive
Editing as a purposeful task of rewriting

Evaluate the purpose of rewriting as presented in textbook
Rewriting may be one element of the text that can be supplemented

Being aware of what may be lacking in our textbooks is essential for success.

Have language discussion even if confusing for students.
Part of the recursive writing.

Students are not receiving consistent presentation.

Many profs avoid. Students are unfamiliar with terms and have negative experiences.
These discussions can lead to better understanding.

Give adequate time to editing, revision, and rewriting.
This re-enforces that revising, editing, and proofreading are unimportant and part of the end-process only.

Notes from CCTE 2016: Teaching Strategies


Re-Envisioning Revision

by Dr Davis on April 2, 2016

Amy Clements, St. Edward’s U
“Re-envisioning Revision”

Art of Prestige, UMass Press

4 decades since Peter Elbow proposed a teacher-less writing class
to remedy the fact that teacher = “only one person and not very typical”

re-enforcing validity of voice

peer review is a quandary because different recommendations
How heavily as instructors should we intervene?
My solution came from publishing word. Teach classes in revising and editing and an advanced editing class.
Rhetorically sound argument to defend edits.

Should not be reserved for English majors.
Be willing to accept ambiguity.
Versatility to adapt to varying audiences including varying instructors.

As motivations of editors are discussed, students develop.
Writing prof job =/= various styles
Instead 1. Language is a revolving reflection of users.
2. Those who can easily access multiple styles have more access to audiences.

Word choice.
Send students to dictionary. Which ones?

Equip them to debate use in language.

Brian Henderson corrected “comprised of” in more than 40,000 wikipedia articles.

Grammar Girl on LinkedIn:
When you have a colon, do you capitalize what comes after?
Issue of style. Doesn’t want a style guide preference. What’s the rule?
What is the “I learned in school” style called?

Demystifying motivations and processes of editors (and writers), we can extend community of editors well beyond class rosters

Notes from CCTE 2016: Teaching Strategies


Quick Edit Guide

by Dr Davis on November 28, 2015

improve writing 3 minutes or less



by Dr Davis on November 24, 2015

by Väsk WC CC3

by Väsk WC CC3

How did we get the English word pineapple? I don’t know. But I think it is interesting that:
words for pineapple linguistics

Etymology? Late Middle English called it a pine apple (their word for pinecone) because they thought it looked like a pinecone.

{ 1 comment }

When Talking about Sentence Length

by Dr Davis on November 8, 2015

Here is a demonstration of the effect of sentence length, which I usually do in my FYC classes just talking. I found it at themetapicture.


This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety.

Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length.

And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals–sounds that say listen to this, it’s important.


Grammar Goofs that Make You Look Silly

by Dr Davis on September 27, 2015

15 common grammar errors explained–and warned against.


English is Weird.

by Dr Davis on September 23, 2015

English is weird


Improvement in Accuracy and Fluency

by Dr Davis on September 17, 2015

Findings are that both direct correction and simple underlining of errors are significantly superior to describing the type of error, even with underlining, for reducing long-term error. Direct correction is best for producing accurate revisions, and students prefer it because it is the fastest and easiest way for them as well as the fastest way for teachers over several drafts. However, students feel that they learn more from self- correction, and simple underlining of errors takes less teacher time on the first draft.

Chandler, Jean. “The Efficacy of Various Kinds of Error Feedback for Improvement in the Accuracy and Fluency of L2 Student Writing.” Journal of Second Language Writing 12(2003):267-96.


Other Interesting Word-Related Sites

by Dr Davis on August 14, 2015

Semantic Link might be very useful for a discussion in linguistics. I found it trying to find words to use for a flash fiction piece I was writing. I was disappointed when submarine was not one of the words associated with yellow.

I also liked the glimpse Google gave me of Visuwords:
word wizard

Word Wizard. I like that.

Visuwords is very pretty.

Visuwords rhetoric

Overall, though, it isn’t as useful or as interesting as I had hoped.

Snappy Words is similar to Visuwords, but it has more parts that I found interesting. Plus it lets you wrangle the connections.

rhetoric snappy words


More Word Fun

by Dr Davis on August 13, 2015

So I went back to the Phrontistery and looked up different letters. (I’m a word hoarder, or, as per Booktryst, a bibliophage.)

I thought these were interesting, particularly because of the large change in meaning by a single letter.

quob = to throb; to quiver
quod = prison
quop = to writhe; to pulsate; to undulate
quiz = absurd person or thing

I also liked quisquos, which Phrontistery says means perplexing or difficult to deal with, while Logophilius defines it as baffling, perplexing.