and Don'ts of Conferences
This list has been
created specifically for consultants aiding students with their
Business School Portfolio Projects. It is based on the "Do's
and Don'ts for Writing Commentary" (click here for a link). The information
provided here is intended to serve as a guide to the various strategies
for conducting effective conferences. Consultants who follow these
guidelines can be assured that they are helping writers in a facilitative, rather than a directive manner.
- Read draft's all
the way through before you begin to comment on them.
to all of the writer's comments and concerns.
- Raise questions
from a reader's point of view; points that may not have occurred
to the writer.
- Focus on the overall
problems of organization before looking at surface level errors
(ie: grammar, spelling).
- Make comments text-specific,
referring specifically to that writer's draft.
- Offer suggestions,
not commands, when possible.
- Comment through
the use of questions ("Could you make a stronger transition
between these two points?")
- Request clarification
if certain aspects of the narrative seem unclear.
- Make sure you address
the writer's main strengths as well as things that need improvement.
- Allow for salience and waiting
- Supply appropriate
Writers Web (click here for a link) materials to assist
the writer with specific weaknesses.
- Always provide your
e-mail address and phone number before ending the conference.
- Do not write for
the writer. Ask questions instead. In the case of a grammatical
correction, assist with a representative example.
- Do not directly
point out mistakes to the writer. Instead, point the student
toward finding them.
- Don't overwhelm
the writer with too many suggestions.
- Don't make too many
corrections on the writer's paper.
- Do not end a conference
without making sure the writer has understood everything you
covered. If they haven't, spend some additional time clarifying
any unclear points.
- Never forget an
appointment with a writer. Standing someone up even once will
result in a loss of credibility for the WAC program.
- Return to: Table
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