Picture postcards of fall in Vermont may show turning leaves of all one color, but most trees change gradually, with green, yellow, red, orange and fallen leaves–all from the same tree.
My students write at least three drafts of every formal paper, and I emphasize a different concept for each draft: organization, argument, and macro issues in the earliest drafts, style, grammar and micro issues in the later drafts. I place my point of intervention in draft two, after students have conferred with each other and the tutor. Theoretically, they have moved beyond organization when I meet with them, but that is not always the case. In my meeting on their papers, we could be discussing anything about their work from the finer points of style to addressing the topic.
As I circled the class on Friday, as the class workshopped Paper #3, I saw that they had become familiar with the language of talking about writing. Student who had struggled with organization on their draft twos a few weeks ago now made insightful suggestions to their peers about their organization. The combination of workshops, conferences and revisions manages to hit a number of different learning styles as students do and read and speak and listen and write on their own and their peers