Thursday, October 7, 2010

Topic: Teachers and Errors in Writing

10-second review: 30% to 40% of teachers did not recognize mechanical errors in a writing sample.

Title: “Annotated Bibliography of Research in the Teaching of Literature and the Teaching of Writing.” DJ Dieterich and RH Behm. Research in the Teaching of English (May 1984), 201-218.

Quote: Error tallies on the evaluation of a writing sample by 33 trained teachers indicated that 30% to 40% did not recognize mechanical errors.” L Fearn, 1982, 203.

So what? Teachers recognize and jump on what they are looking for. I think we should list the major mechanical errors by degree of importance or degree of disruption to the reader, i.e., run-ons; fragments; agreement of subject and verb and pronouns and antecedents; commas for introductions, interrupters, and afterthoughts; dangling modifiers;  parallel constructions. And ask teachers to look for them when evaluating any student writing—depending, of course, on grade level. RayS.

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