Paper 3: Psych 303 Literature Review

This is your third training paper. (You can find it as an attachment at the bottom of this section, before the discussion begins.) For this module, you should formulate a full-fledged strategy for a) dealing with the paper, and b) facilitating the session with the student.


 1. Just as you did with the Ideas paper and Rhetorically Informed Argument, read the prompt for this essay sample, paying close attention to requirements.

 2. Next, read the paper completely.  While reading, consider the requirements from the essay prompt, so that during the session you and the writer can address any gaps between what the instructor is asking for and what the writer has drafted. As with the previous two papers you've read, feel free to make marks on the paper where there are sections you'd like to discuss. 

 3. You may notice that this assignment is for a discipline you are unfamiliar with. If you find words and terms that are unclear, please feel free to use a dictionary or other reference source. In an actual writing center session, this would be a perfect opportunity for you to ask the writer about his/her project and what certain terms mean. This is an excellent way to establish a “peer to peer” learning relationship rather than a “teacher/student” relationship. Don't forget: the writing assistant does not always have to be the expert. If you are unfamiliar with the writing style of this student's discipline, please refer to The Longman Guide pgs. 26-28 and 158-161 for advice on tutoring writing that is outside of your own discipline.

 4. Remembering that it's important to begin sessions with what the writer's doing well, find (and post here) three things in the paper that you'd want to praise. There are always things to praise.  Having paid close attention to the requirements when reading, pointing out areas that are working well with regard to those requirements may serve as a good starting point for your discussion, as you can recognize and openly acknowledge strong work the writer has already begun work on or has completed.

 5. Then identify and post three things in the paper that you want to address during the session that will help the student revise the paper. Since you want to avoid overwhelming students with "what's wrong" with their paper, you'll want to consider which three things are most important to cover and stick with those. When working with a more complex paper such as this one, a writing assistant may be tempted to try to address each individual issue, or conversely may be so overwhelmed that s/he won't know where to start. Always keep it simple by first focusing on what you think is a top priority.

 6. In addition to these same issues that you dealt with in papers one and two, please articulate a complete strategy or outline of the session. Obviously, the idea behind this is not to get you to craft a strategy and then "stick with it" inflexibly. Rather, the hope is that you'll be able to craft strategies fluidly, on the fly, as it were, in order to be able to respond to something that comes up during the session. For example, you might decide that you need to work on thesis, and during the session the student confesses that, yes, he knows that the thesis is weak and here's a stronger thesis that he thought of on the way over to Waldo for his appointment. Since the thesis is, indeed, quite strong, you now need to adjust your strategy for the session, incorporating this stronger thesis into the conversation you have with the student about "next steps."

 7. Finally, please craft 3 opening questions that you'd want to start the session with in order to address the 3 things you'd want to work on during the session. (Hint: One possible opening question could address the writer's understanding of the prompt). Remember that open-ended questions are better than those that have a right or wrong answer.


Final Thoughts


If you are feeling unsure about where to start and how to structure your writing session, refer to The Longman Guide pgs. 28-34.


So, your task is to construct a post that deals with these requirements. If your post doesn't contain these elements, you may be asked to revise it.


Again, if you're struggling with the vocabulary to describe what you're wanting to do in the session, make note of that and discuss it in your post.


After you've drafted your post, be sure to read and respond to <em>at least two</em> of your colleagues' posts on this topic.


Note: If you haven't written two responses, you will not be given credit for this training module.