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To receive full credit for participation in workshops, you will need to write useful comments on your partner’s drafts, participate in dialogue with other students about their writing and yours, and identify your comments on your partners’ rough drafts.

Preparing as WRITER before workshop:

1) Finish a complete Rough Draft of the writing assignment.

2) Doublecheck your Rough Draft against the criteria for the writing assignment. Be prepared to say exactly (that means words, sentences, and paragraphs you can point to on your pages) where the criteria for the writing assignment have been addressed. If you have trouble doing this step, perhaps your draft is not yet finished.

3) Number each paragraph and each page of your Rough Draft.

4) Bring 3 copies of the Rough Draft with you to workshop--one for each of your two partners and one for the instructor.

Responding as READERS in workshop:

1) Read through your partner’s rough draft once without making any marks on it at all. This reading gives you a chance to sense your partner’s writing style and grasp what the draft is trying to do as a whole.

2) Identify yourself as READER by signing your name at the top of the first page of the draft. After your name, put your initials. Whenever you make a comment in the margin or elsewhere, put your initials after your comment; these let both the writer and instructor know which particular suggestions belong to you.

3) As you read the draft a second time, comment on aspects of the writing you found especially strong. Be specific in identifying what you found effective. Also indicate problems you think need to be addressed in the next draft. If the problem is simply a spelling or grammatical error, just put a check in the margin or circle a word; if you aren’t sure yourself, but there is something that doesn’t seem correct, put a question mark in the margin. If the problem is more serious, suggest specifically what needs to be addressed. Does the example not fit? Are more examples needed? Is there a piece of writing missing making the essay hard to follow?

4) If the draft is missing some important aspect of the assignment, say so. This step is key; if you think the draft somehow doesn’t do all that the assignment asks, point out those missing elements. For each essay assignment, we will take class time to craft an ASSIGNMENT CRITERIA helpsheet. Consult the ASSIGNMENT CRITERIA helpsheet to be sure you are noticing all the criteria which need to be in the essay which you are reading.

RESPONDING to Workshop Comments:

1) On the day following Workshop, bring revised drafts of your essay to class. You need to have considered all the comments made on your earlier draft and be prepared to say what you did in response and why. Note: Even if you decided that the comment was not useful to you, that following the suggestion wouldn’t have improved your essay, you still need to explain why you decided to ignore that comment.

2) Show your revised draft to your partner’s. Share with them the changes you made in response to their comments. Ask them if they think the changes you made address their concerns. If you decided not to make a suggested change, explain why. Take note of any additional comments especially about the part(s) of your essay which is (are) new or changed.

Reminder: When you are turning in your essay for my comments and grading, hand in all previous drafts, workshop notes, and workshop comments clipped together with a paper clip and placed in a manila folder. Remember that all these materials become part of your portfolio for the class. KEEP ALL THE WORK YOU DO. Back up your work on your computer and/or make xerox copies. When your essay is returned to you with a grade, you will still have one opportunity to make a final revision. See the revision guidelines on the first pages of the syllabus to refresh your memory of the process.


List below all the criteria you can think of which will be used for grading this assignment. From your reading and from class discussion, you should be able to recall several criteria have been mentioned which go into a successful Autobiographical Essay.