Writer's WebReader-Based Response Techniques
by Joe Essid

Scholar, program director, and writing teacher Peter Elbow changed classroom instruction with a few techniques he invented. These may prove useful to faculty and students looking for clever ways to help writers see how their work sounds to readers.

Finding the Center of Gravity:
Elbow described readers giving feedback as "movies of the reader's mind" as they read drafts. Try these techniques:

The Believing and Doubting Games:

Elbow details ways in which readers can balance the acts of believing and doubting what a writer sets down in a draft. The process of believing is far harder for academic readers! While no short page here can address the nuances of these techniques, a few guidelines may prove interesting and productive. After all, all academic writing consists of claims and evidence. So try these two activities in sequence.

For more, consult Elbow, Peter, Writing Without Teachers, Oxford, 1973, and Writing With Power, Oxford, 1981.

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