Effective Revising Instruction for Struggling Writers


Revising is a critical part of the writing process (Scardamalia & Bereiter, 1986). Expert writers tend to make global text revisions and target more meaning-changing revisions, which lead to substantial improvement in overall writing quality (Butterfield, Hacker, & Albertson, 1996). However, poor writers have been found to experience difficulties with revising (Midgette, Haria, & MacArthur, 2008). They seldom revise their written texts, and most of the revisions made are more superficial, i.e., focusing on the conventions (such as spelling, punctuation, capitalization) rather than the content, and hence have a very limited impact on the text quality (De La Paz & Sherman, 2013). This paper reviews the major revising strategies that have been found to help engage struggling writers in effective revising process. In particular, details regarding the following revising strategies, including a) Compare, Diagnose, Operate (CDO) process, b) revising checklists; c) peer revising, and d) setting revising goals, are presented. Prior research evidence has shown that these revising strategies contribute to more substantial revisions at both local (i.e., mechanical) and global (i.e., content and organization) levels, contributing to substantially better writing quality across different genres (MacArthur & Philippakos, 2015; Shen & Troia, 2018). Suggestions on how to incorporate revising instruction into daily teaching routines and provide differentiated instruction based on struggling writers’ unique needs also are discussed.

Author Information
Mei Shen, The State University of New York at Potsdam, United States
Heqiao Wang, Michigan State University, United States

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2021
Stream: Education & Difference: Gifted Education

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon