Breakroom Video . . . How to Tutor a Genius: The Importance of Revision

By Melody Pickle, Writing Specialist, WAC, Kaplan University Writing Center

This video emphasizes the importance of being able to receive feedback in order to improve a piece of writing.  Sometimes, when students write (or when I write), it can be hard to revise because they (we) have worked so hard to get the words on the page in  the first place.  It can also be difficult to revise a paper when the topic is something about which the student has strong feelings. This video deals with the overconfident or “The Genuis” writer who does not wish to revise his paper.

The DePaul University Writing Center produced this video as part of a series of videos called The Breakroom.  These videos demonstrate how peer tutors working in a Writing Center help determine best practices for tutoring students.

Recently,  a student informed me that he did not have a writing process.  He simply sat down and wrote his thoughts out the first time he sat down.  He did not revise, and he had no plans to adopt a “process.”

It is not uncommon to hear this.

However, similar to the student work demonstrated in the video, his papers did not follow the directions and reflected a lack of the critical thinking required for the assignment.

For many students,  writing is simply a product and not a tool for learning and thinking.  However, emphasizing multiple drafts and a writing process can help students understand how feedback and revision are about improving the thinking behind the final written product.



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2 Responses

  1. kuwcnews says:

    Hi Carrie,

    I like your phrase, “meeting the needs of the audience.” This is very well said. When I am introducing students to the idea of a writing process, I talk about learning to revise as the ability to learn to read our own writing through the eyes of someone else. Re-visioning our own work, thoughts, ideas, and beliefs is no small task, but I do think that re-seeing our own thoughts and even knowing we can move beyond our initial thoughts on a topic is the first step to thinking critically. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Carrie Hannigan says:

    Thanks for sharing this! My research on composition writing courses has led me to a phrase that I often think about, but can’t share with students…”writing maturity.” A “mature” writer realizes that the writing should meet the needs of the audience, not the writer. A “mature” writer realizes that writing is a process and revision is necessary. I like your emphasis on critical thinking skills, as it does not sound as harsh as categorizing writers as immature. Even an experienced writer who does not adopt critical thinking skills can reflect immature writing, especially if he/she has ignored feedback related to improving the final product.


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