Just One Third Of Sondra Perl, All of the Hatred

Professor Jay Simmons studied the differences in the peer evaluation of high school students for three years.  His thesis states that even the brightest of kids don’t necessarily have what it takes to peer review. “Students need practice reading one another’s work while giving and receiving feedback before they do more than edit or offer global praise.”

Simmons had a combination of variables to support his claim. Using two urban and two rural high schools, he then pair them up with a community college and a state college. They would then review each other’s work. What he found was the rural school had more experience with the peer review process as they are required to successfully complete a semester-long writing workshop for graduation. The urban schools followed the John Collins writing program. In that program, students read each other’s work and comment on “focus correction areas” although it mentions going beyond the word and sentence level of mechanics. They were basically looking for mistakes rather than actual content.

When peer response is given, it ranges from global praise to personal response. Simmons references past studies from 1983 to 1997 that: students want global praise and resent sarcasm; the early signs of writing workshops occur when kids demand more than a simple “I liked your story.”; children have different standards than adults; even in college when the teacher is around, students make positive comments (Straub (1997), Graves (1983), Newkirk (1984), Tobin (1993).

Familiar name, Murray (1985) comments on the personal responses. While students, sometimes even teachers, think of themselves as therapists, reacting to the writer’s life and not the writing; students who need therapy should get it, not just in writing class.

I agree with Simmons’ claim. At my school (glorious K-12) we started peer review early. My earliest memory of it would be second grade. While we did start it early, it was nothing more than Global Praise Central. Even then, I would get mad when I got stuck with that one kid who had no idea what he was doing and just said “It was good”.

With this just passed peer review session, Olivia helped me out a bit. She made the comment that my thesis was out of place and abrupt; with which I agree. I had no idea what I was doing when I wrote that draft. I believe that peer review strategies can be taught over one semester. That’s what they did at Adams in the passage I read.

Naps are nice

1) We all still need help on APA format. We aren’t pros yet and I doubt we will be. I doubt that we’re even pros at MLA format. If we were, none of us would have taken WRT150. Nothing wrong with that statement, I know for a fact that I’m not a pro at either format. I often look at guides. So I suppose that’s my strategy; look at the guides. Eventually, you’ll get to the point were you don’t look at the guide so often. Waning yourself off of it is really how we learn most, if not all, things. Like Training wheels for a bike.

2) My job was pretty easy since only one person posted their draft. Then again, it was fourteen pages long. In her mandatory message on moodle, she stated she had forgotten her thesis statement (I’m pretty sure I did as well) and if there was any way that she could shorten some parts. While her writing style is great, she had a bit of repetition. Pronouns and the like can not only shorten the length but also keep it fresh. The same word(s) over and over again feels like a sledge hammer clogging on the back of my head.

3)I like the online peer evaluation. Not only do I not have to talk to people, I figured out that there is a comment feature on Open Office. Screw expensive Microsoft Word!


A big part of my writing process is distractions and stray thoughts. The thoughts usually lead into a side conversation . Somehow that part of my thinking/planning process. When I’m not spaced at, staring at the screen, I have the information in my head and it sort of simmers. After a bit of tomfoolery, I tell myself I am ready or that this project is due soon. The next part is a back and forth, recursive like Tony, writing “spree”. I write all I have to say, which are bits and pieces at a time, then go back and add in or take out words that sounds like I’m twelve.

If I were to break it down to percents, although I’m sure I’d be under or over one hundred, here’s how it would go:

Before Planning (Which includes reading and rereading the prompt): 15%

Drafting: 37%

Revising: 13%


Distractions: 16%


As for codes I’ll be using and their meanings, here’s as follows:

[D] Distractions: Singing the glorious hits of the Backstreet Boys, talking, etc,

[DST] Stray Thoughts that lead to distractions: my mind is a waterslide of pasta sauce and at the bottom is a mountain of cheese and porcupines. Don’t think about that too much. It makes no sense and that’s how I want it.

[R] Reading: Includes the words I’ve written as well as the articles. From memory I remember saying “scrolling scrolling scrolling” when trying to find a part I vaguely remember but wanted to use.

[RD] Reading Directions: When your mind is a fantastical place of foodstuff and animals, you let me know how well you stick to the prompt

[P] Pauses: There were times I forgot to talk as well as times where I had temporarily given up.

[R] Revision: includes word choice as well as crappy grammar. (I AM TONY!!!)

[C] Commenting: Sarcasm at its best, I suppose.

[TW] Writing Aloud or Talking while Writing: It’s a bit hard to type something different from what you’re saying out loud.

[PG] Planning in General: when I just trying to figure which way to go.

[WG] Writing in General: possibly happening with my pauses. I forgot to speak sometimes.

[UKN] unknown: No clue what was happening at that point in time

This Title is Not As Thought Out as Murray’s

The Composing Processes of Unskilled College Writers is an Article by esteemed college researcher Sondra Perl. In 1979, she conducted a major and much needed look into the writing process of college students who’ve just begun their higher learning writing careers. What she found was that students already know how to write however when they are given a broad topic they dichotomize, or split up, it until they can write about those subjects. An example of this is when the topic of “Equality” was given. One student broke it down to “White vs. Black” and “Rich vs. Poor”.  Also when they are given a topic they know more about, their writing is noticeably better. Perl also went into great detail about the students’ revision processes. As they would write, they would immediately go back and reread what they had written. That broke up their flow, often losing their train of thought. They were merely “fixing” grammar. However, they had written such complex sentences that the rules they were trying to apply didn’t.

When he speaks about himself and his opinions, he sounds like he knows what he’s talking about as he should. Who else knows what goes through other’s minds. However, he makes a lot of assumptions that the reader would know about him. (We don’t.) After he wrote his sample on equality, Tony read in missing parts, and didn’t notice syntax errors. I often do the same as I don’t consider myself to be a very skilled writer, in short it makes perfect sense. When I would, or forced to, read my writing aloud, I found that I had either forgotten some piece or come up with an idea that sounded much better. That’s nothing new, I suppose people have been doing this for centuries.

In Berkenkotter’s article about esteemed author Donald Murray, Decisions and Revisions The Planning Strategies of a Publishing Writer, she goes into great detail of his writing processes. At the start of the research, they were sending tapes back and forth. often times he would stop talking and Berkenkotter would be at a complete loss, as she is not there to know what actually happened. Murray carries a day book around with him, jotting down every idea and plan he has. Once he is ready to type, Murray dictates his ideas to his wife, who is an speedy typist. From there, he rereads it and often goes back to his day book to write additional ideas as well as omit a few.  Situational Variables are introduced to us when he is brought into Berkenkotter’s university. As he is to explain death to an eleven year old subscriber of a magazine he had never heard of and actually doubted it’s audience.

He has it all figured out. When I was younger, I carried around a small book with me at all times. Well, it started as an entire binder, which was cumbersome, and then upgraded to a small notebook I had gotten as a gift when I was about thirteen. I suppose that was my version of a day book. However, most of those ideas didn’t get very far out of that notebook. As for differently, I don’t exactly have a wife who is good at typing. I have to type everything myself, which isn’t too bad. I don’t like reading my own work out loud so there would lie another problem with that model.

Facelift! (First Post of the Semester)

I could’ve cheated and just left my blog the way it was from last semester. I’m sure I would’ve been penalized however I wanted to change the look anyway. For the really snazzy, and sort of pretentious, layout I had to pay. As we all know, college students don’t have that kind of money to waste on a layout! You can create your own for free!

This is what my blog looked like before. 


The background I searched for on Google. My header picture also from Google. The cool thing about it was that it changed. I had three pictures that would appear there when the page was accessed or refreshed.  Take a look at the title. It started as a joke when I was creating this the first time. For some reason it stuck.

Now adjust your eyes from the “blogception” and just take in the work I’ve done. Yes, I didn’t bother adding new pages. The ones there work fine for what this blog is used for. The background changed, still free might I add. That header, you can bet your last dollar it changes. Go ahead, refresh the page a couple of times, the text isn’t going anywhere. Refresh it again. A couple more times. The images might repeat but the setting is on random, maybe you’re unlucky. Last time, refresh it.

The images you -hopefully- just laid witness to are just pictures from my collection. I suppose they say a little bit about me. What that means, I have no idea. Just trying to be a bit funny, even if it failed, because that is who I am.