Early in the chapter, Gilmore provides a list of editing and revision suggestions. Though he emphasizes that these points need to be practiced by the students and that advanced students can do more than one at a time, and even that they should be completed while paying careful attention to time usage, the list seems ambitious. I do not disagree with it, per se, but it does demand a lot from students. I just think that perhaps there is a better, more streamlined way to go about editing and revision.

The only real aspect I disagree with is the re-copying the paper from scratch. Sure, I agree with his assertion that re-copying forces the writer to slow down and find issues with their paper, but in a timed setting, I feel such an investment could be used on the other aspects of his list.

Regardless, outside of Gilmore’s thoughts on paper writing, I’m not sure I see the point in his later suggestion that teachers assign school-wide prompts. Yeah, there is value in being able to see where students begin and end, but his suggestion seems a lot of labor for a pay-off that must have an easier way to ascertain.

If the goal is to analyze strengths and weaknesses, then why not assign some school-wide prompt that isn’t so much an essay, as it is a single paragraph exercise that demands the students use a variety of writing mechanics—from associated bits of “correctness” to more figurative language and syntactical sophistication—then you can acquire the same information without the hassle of reading through an entire terrible paper. Maybe this single, complex paragraph approach is a little more mystified, but through diligent explanation, I am sure that it can do just fine (aside from its weakness in its inability to provide information about complex argument).

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