Activity Showcase: Simulated Writing Workshop/Peer Review (Kim Pyne)

Oct 11 2006

Activity Showcase: Simulated Writing Workshop/Peer Review (Kim Pyne)

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Pitfall Personalities for Writing Groups

Don’t be a Self-Deprecating Sally or Personalizing Pete!

Self-Deprecating Sally (or Stephen)

  • You are the writer of the paper currently under discussion and will be reading it out loud to your group. Before you start reading, you apologize for your work.  “I am really not a good writer.”  “I did not spend a lot of time on this paper.”  “I don’t really know what I am doing.”  “I know there are a lot of things wrong with my writing.”
  • As you read, you stop periodically to point out mistakes that you made in your writing or things you think you should change.
  • When you finish, you continue to make negative comments about your work.
  • When people give you feedback, you take it very, very personally.

Silent Suzie (or Sam)

You do not say a word.  You are often looking down rather than looking at the reader.

Condescending Carla (or Carl)

You interrupt the reader in intimidating, condescending, and inappropriate ways before, during, and after the reading  (e.g., “That part of the narrative that you just read sounds a little like Hemingway,” or “Maybe you should read the classics to help you as a writer” or “Maybe if you READ more you would be a better WRITER”).  You also reference your own wonderful writing that you have published or submitted for publication, talk about the writing group to which you belong outside of class, or give condescending feedback or advice.

Personalizing Polly (or Pete)

You frequently interrupt the writer to make personal connections, such as “You know that part of your paper where you were writing about your team?  Well, that reminded me of this time when I was on a team! See, what happened was . . .”

Nit-Picking Ned (or Nadine)

You continually give “nit-picky” feedback to the writer—and nothing else.  You may concentrate on punctuation or other lower-level “skills” of writing. You’re the grammar-Nazi who is great for final proofreading, but useless beforehand.

General George (or Ginny)

You continually make general comments about the writing—calling it “good” or “nice” or “neat.” You don’t bother to say why you feel any of these things specifically.

Distractible Donna (or Don)

You pay no attention to the reader.  You try to talk with the person beside you in the writing group.  You get up several times when the writer is reading to stretch.  You get up to talk to the instructor and/or to get a snack or sharpen a pencil.

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