Monday, September 26, 2016

the significance of self and peer revision in writing

After reading the articles, I wholeheartedly agree with both Yancey's and Jaxon's concepts about how reflection and peer revision, respectively, better your ability to write. Ultimately, the most significant connection between the two articles I saw was the importance of grounding yourself in objectivity while reading writing - whether it is yours or your peer's. Both seem to push the idea of leaving your subjective views of your paper behind; for example, in Yancey's article, she discusses the writer's self-reflection at great length. By rereading your work and constructively revising and adding to the textual conversation of your paper, I feel like you are being trained to look less and less subjectively at your own words. Instead of rereading your paper and thinking it is good and does not need much changing, you are not doing yourself any favors; however, if you are able to see missing ideas and critically develop the paper by pretending you are a third-party viewer, it will increase your writing abilities because of the objective thinking you have practiced while reflecting.

Similarly, I feel like Jaxon talks about peer tutoring in the same light. For an individual to successfully be able peer tutor, they need to adapt a different identity entirely, since they now become something akin to their professor. If that concept of peer tutoring is realized, the student will try to become more "serious" and thoughtful while reading their peer's work; by doing so, you take yourself out of subjective thinking, which includes personal bias. While you may take into consideration what you have written versus what your peer as written, you are using it to constructively develop both of your writing abilities. Like Jaxon says, if you are able to effectively peer tutor and analyze their thoughts, you consequently learn how to write a more well-rounded and better paper yourself.

As said before, I feel like Jaxon and Yancey hit the nail on the head. While being a writing center tutor is different than just regular peer tutoring, they are still related on some level. While working at the writing center, as I was reading and helping students, I was able to help myself; in all honestly, I could see my writing develop over the years of working there. To start with, papers become very easy to write for me, which was mostly attributed to the fact I had learned how to structure my thoughts, the flow of the text, and making sure the overall focus was there. Ultimately, I feel as though Yancey was able to summarize the importance of the necessity of reflection in writing, where she stated that "reflection is a critical component of learning and writing specifically; articulating what we have learned for ourselves is a key process in that learning" (7). By learning from the writing mistakes of my students, my skill increased in writing too, since I was more effectively able to practice what I was preaching to them. Additionally, in rereading my papers in an objective light, as well as being able to add to them in a way that is "conversational" also is a good tool to improve individual writing; without the ability to look critically at our own writing as an "outsider," it is very easy to be blind to our own flaws, and even harder to accept that we have any to begin with, which is why accepting the objectivity of revision is so important to improving your own writing.

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