Teaching Writing -- Powerpoint for Authorial Notes

Planning the Course
Teaching Inquiry
Teaching Reading
Additional Resources

Teaching Self-Reflection
Using Authorial Notes (Power point for in-class modeling)

Composing Inquiry includes post-writing questions to promote self-reflection, what we call "authorial notes." Asking students to attend to their research and writing processes and to reflect on what they have done serves several purposes, including:

  •        helping students be more conscious of their writing and researching processes

  •        helping students imagine revisions, even as they turn in a finished product/draft

  •        helping students internalize the evaluation criteria

  •        prepares students for the final assignment of reflection and synthesis

  •        makes good use of class time on a day a writing assignment is due, a day when students cannot do a new reading assignment

Since reflection notes provide insight into a student's thinking, they also help teachers

  •     respond to the writing more effectively and efficiently, addressing student's concerns and answering specific questions

  •     offer supplemental instruction to individual students

  •     plan class activities and discussions

  •     provides insight to student thinking, so can guide responses to writing

  •      treat as an un-graded, informal writing assignment or as a “daily participation” score that encourages attendance on the due date

  •     comment briefly on the notes, especially to answer questions the student might raise

While we often expect students to complete these authorial notes on their own, we find that we need to set the expectations by doing the first one or two of these in class.

Powerpoint for doing authorial notes in class

Powerpoint to download

Objectives: demonstrate to students how to do authorial notes by doing these after the first assignment

Time: typically 20-30 minutes of writing, then 15 minutes of sharing/discussion

Alternative: save the discussion for a later class period when you might pull out examples from these responses. it's also possible to have students enter a post on a class website that serves as authorial notes. if you take this route, you'll want to think about the kinds of questions that you want the whole group to discuss and how you might still make room for private comments just to you.

Slide 1

Authorial notes

From now on you’ll do these before class, after you’ve finished and posted the assignment and bring them with you to class to turn in.

you may not want students to ever do the authorial notes on their own; many teachers find that students do a more careful job of reflecting if they have time in class before the paper is due. tailor the questions you ask to fit the assignment, the difficulties your class encountered with the assignment, or other concerns.

Slide 2

What’s the point of authorial notes?

n   Self-Reflection

n   Material for the end of term portfolio

n   Making writing decisions more explicit

help students connect authorial notes to the habits of mind discussed in the first chapter. if you're using a portfolio system, you'll probably include a reflective piece as part of the final portfolio. students need to know from the beginning of the term that they will need these notes to help them look back at their own processes and choices.

Slide 3

Question 1     

n   What process did you use to complete this assignment?

n   List the steps you took

a good discussion/sharing question is to have students compare these steps. what did their classmates do in different ways? what strategies might they want to borrow from others?

Slide 4

Question 2     

n   How did your process this time compare to your usual ways of getting assignments done?

n   How satisfied are you with this process? What do you think you might do differently or better?

students need to understand that writing processes can vary just as forms of presentation can be different for different purposes and audiences.

Slide 5

Question 3

n   What was the hardest/easiest part of this assignment? Why?

questions like this one are helpful to the teacher's future planning. if students mention a specific aspect of the assignment that you didn't spend much time on in class, you'll want to think about how you might support their learning in this area.

Slide 6

Question 4

n   What else do you think I should know as I read this assignment?

n For example, did you encounter any particular difficulties or problems?

n What kinds of feedback would be most helpful to you?

we like to end with an open invitation to tell us whatever else seems to them to be important. in later assignments, we vary this question by asking students to tell us what feature of their writing they want the most feedback on.

See other resources for Teaching Writing Back Next


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Copyright © 2008 Composing Inquiry: Methods and Readings for Investigation and Writing
Last modified: 02/21/08. Contributors to this site include: Margaret Marshall, Andrew Strycharski, April Mann, Isis Artze-Vega, Patty Malloy, John Wafer.