OWL Model Draft #3 and Response

OWL Model Draft #3 and Response

From: Tutor Name
To: Student email
Cc: <writelab@snake.eou.edu>
Subject: Your Paper!
Date: Fri, 3 May 2002 03:41:08 -0600
MIME-Version: 1.0
X-Priority: 3
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
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Sandra – I hope all is well with you. I found out my sister is due on Sept. 6th and is having a baby boy. She says she is getting big too! Hopefully it hasn’t been too hot in Boise yet for you. I think it would be miserable being pregnant and living in the heat of Boise at the same time. I guess you must be thankful for air-conditioning!

OPENING COMMENTS: Assignment: POLS 101 American National Government – Write a short 350 word essay on a contemporary public policy issue of interest to you. I encourage you to write on an issue that is related to your major area of study, or an issue that affects you on a daily basis. Explain why the policy issue is of interest to you, provide some empirical information that supports your perspective, and most importantly provide a proposed solution to the problem.

You’ve clearly chosen a topic that is of interest to you and one that affects you on a daily basis. Your empirical information is relevant, but I think it is possible that your proposed solution could be stated a little more clearly. When we get to it in the “YOUR PAPER” section, I’ll make a few suggestions for you to consider. Because this paper is something of interest to you, you’re going to be more emotional about the topic. That will result in using contractions because they make the paper feel more comfortable to you. However, this is still a college-quality paper, so contractions should be avoided. I’m not going to mention changing them in your paper, but you’ll want to double check before handing it in. Overall, you appear to have met the major criteria for the assignment. Good job!

YOUR PAPER: Sandra (Last Name), “Political Exercise Paper”

Early Learning

***In the environment of education, top priority should be educating children today for a better tomorrow. No child should be left behind. Ensuring quality education and early intervention for children must take place. Unfortunately, only about 5 percent of children go into kindergarten able to read and only 20 percent know their letters. (1) Getting a far [do you mean "fair"?] chance at education is part of our legal right, for each and everyone one of us. [how is ensuring quality education and early intervention, a lack of knowledge of reading and letters in kindergartners, and a fair chance at an education linked? What I mean is that you could use a sentence at the end of this paragraph that draws up that final conclusion you want the reader to make. If you leave your "big conclusion" you want the reader to come to after reading these pieces of information unstated, s/he may not reach the same conclusion that you want them to. A simple sentence like the following as the last sentence in this paragraph would help make your initial point: But if students are ill-equipped for kindergarten and early intervention is not taking place, how can this occur?]

***My son [insert a comma after "son"] who is 6 and in kindergarten, has just been diagnosed with ADD. As a parent, I was unaware of the skills my son was to know prior to kindergarten. If I had the knowledge of what was required of him, I believe his ADD would have been noticed at the being [do you mean "beginning"?] of the school year. I spend one day a week volunteering in his classroom. My presents [a homophone! Homophones are two words that sound the same but are spelled differently. "presence" and "presents" are homophones. Which one do you think goes here? :) ] in his class is what awakened me to a problem. His teacher was unaware of his situation and was unable to detect it. I ve pressured the school to notice his problem with his learning ability. After 5 months of pressuring, and only 6 weeks of school left, I m starting to get a response for my request for farther [Do you mean "further"?] testing. [Again, state the conclusion you want the reader to come to: However, due to a lack of information and early intervention, my son went undiagnosed for most of the year and was brushed aside by the school in regards to further testing. [I suggest making this a new paragraph right here.] Because of the amount of time this has taken, I can see a need for the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.(2) [right here is where you need to state your solution more forcefully. Try something like: Because of the amount of time this has taken, I view as the solution President Bush's "No Child Left Behind" Act of 2001.] Its ["its" is actually standing for "it is" and is therefore a contraction, which you want to avoid.] sad to see, [no comma needed] this act is off to a slow start. [Try linking these two sentences to help it "flow" better. You could try something like: ...off to a slow start, but President Bush's... Instead of "but" you could try "even though" or anything else you can think of that would fit.] President Bush s goals for this act are as follows:

Strengthen Head Start
Partnering with States to Improve Early Childhood Education
Providing Information to Teachers. Caregivers, and Parents

[I'm assuming that this is NOT a new paragraph, but a continuation of the one above.] In the book Parenting A Struggling Reading [you need to underline the title of a book. you may have done it; if so, it didn't come through on my email program, but the important point is that it does come across on yours] it states Enrolling your child in school assumes a tacit social bargain: the teachers will teach if you prepare your child to receive their instructions. (1) Who will prepare our children for such a learning process? Who will show parents how to teach children? The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, must take affect immediately. The more time we waste [avoid using words like "you" and "we". Instead try: The more time wasted trying to figure out...] in trying to figure out if there is a problem or waiting for the problem to cure itself, the greater the chance that the child will need more help later on.

***In addition to [try inserting something like "the Act" right here to help it flow smoother] preparing teachers with the techniques they need, [try inserting something like "it also must give" to help it flow smoother] parents need the information needed to prepare their own children for grades K-12. [Make the changes you want to and then reread this sentence to make sure it makes senses. If you make any changes, I think the end of this sentence will need to be rewritten.] Insuring that our State takes the steps to put the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 in place, [no comma needed here] is the responsibility of politicians, educators and caregivers. We must have early intervention to find the bright children that need a little extra help getting off the ground. It is our individual legal right to a far [do you mean "fair"?] education. [restate your solution here by ending the sentence with something like: ...right to a fair education, which the proper implementing of President Bush's "No Child Left Behind" Act will ensure.]


1. Susan L. Hall, Excerpt from Parenting a Struggling Reading, www.MSNBC.com

2. No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, White House Announces Early Childhood Education Initiative, http://www.ncld.org/advocacy/update.cfm
CLOSING REMARKS: I think you’ve done a great job of choosing a topic meaningful to you and one which you’ve got empirical data. My only suggestions are restating more strongly your points and your solution. Basically what you are saying is that early intervention, parent education, and the training of teachers can ensure a fair right to education. But, your son did not get early intervention, you had no parent education about what your child needed before kindergarten, and your son’s teacher was not trained properly to identify your son’s learning difficulty; therefore, President Bush’s campaign seems to be the answer because it addresses these issues. Draw the conclusions for your readers because if you leave it up to them, they might draw a different conclusion than what you are getting at. Thanks for sending me your papers! I appreciate it a lot. Again, I hope all is well and that your family is in good health. Until next time.

As you read this model response above, with tutor comments integrated into the student’s draft, ask yourself how this response differs from response models #1 and #2.

We do not allow online tutors to respond in this way.

Why?  First, because the tutor response makes all comments equal, and the student has no way of seeing the difference between important global issues and minor sentence issues.  Also, it is like the tutor is writing all over the paper.  Finally, it turns the tutor into an editor, as if he/she is doing line-by-line editing instead of pointing out only error patterns , pointing to only one or two examples of the error, and also the tutor is not asking open-ended questions to help the writer improve the paper him or herself.

So this is what not to do.

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