My students are leaving my class this week. I am very proud of them. Many of them have overcome significant disadvantages, both personally and educationally, this semester. I’ve been meaning to write them letters, but haven’t yet.
My advice to students who are moving on from their developmental writing class or even the more traditional Freshman Writing course is to allow yourselves the opportunity to succeed. Don’t hand in your “first draft” that you wrote the morning before class. Proofread. Adjust your tone. Make sure you’re following directions. Don’t write the same paper for every class. Practice writing any and every chance you get. And remember that a professor can’t evaluate your ideas if they can’t understand them through your writing.
I like that idea. I hope it will reinforce the notion that the transfer of knowledge is important, not just in writing but in knowing how to write.
I did something with my students that I was very happy about. I am hoping that it encourages them to hang onto their knowledge.
I wrote the types of essays we have written on the board:
Then I asked them what classes they might write that same type of paper in. We talked about that. Then I asked them where they might use that same type of writing in real life. We talked about that. For each of the essays we came up with at least eight college classes and four real-life scenarios where knowing how to write that type of information was important.
But I will say that none of it will help if they don’t continue to improve their grammar and keep what they have learned this semester about writing in the forefront of their brain.