Writing as a recursive process is a practice that takes time to master and become fluent in. As a student for the past two semesters I have been learning the process of revision. It has been difficult, but useful, changing how I approach the revision process to my writing. Nancy Sommers who wrote Revision Strategies of Student Writers and Experienced Adult Writers Claims the student writers only revise small local errors in their writing, instead of revising around their changing ideas like the experienced adult writers do. Although I do believe that many students lack this knowledge about revision students can be taught to approach the recursive process as the way an expert writer does with out being one.
My first writing assignment that was assigned to me I approached the revision process to much the same way the Sommers would expect me to have. Sommers explains a student’s revision as “ students solve the immediate problems, but blind themselves to problems on the textual level”. This is exactly how I approached my first writing assignment I got in my first semester of college. Looking at the assigment I noticed the only revision I made on the assignment was a grammar error that was pointed out in a peer review of the assignment. I did not look at any of the global errors of the assignment like coherence and flow of my ideas. I did not look at what parts of my writing made sense to the ideas I was trying to get to the reader. I believe that I approached the writing process this way in the beginning of the year because that was how I was taught to revise a paper in high school. It was not until becoming under proper guidance in my courses in college that I realized there was more to revision then just the local errors that I was focusing on.
Later in my first semester I wrote my second assignment, which was a paper on Discourse. Between my first and second draft of the paper made many changes to my paper. Not just local changes but global changes to better convey my ideas and the flow of thought through the paper. In the first draft I had many ideas and they changed when writing my second draft. The revisions although not perfect I tried to make to accommodate my changing ideas. Sommers says that experienced writers ask “what does my essay as a whole need to form, balance, rhythm, or communication.”. My revision of this essay while not perfect I was looking and asking the questions that Sommers describes. In the same way I believe other students when given the proper knowledge about the revision process can approach it as an expert writer they may just not execute it as well.
The execution of approaching the revision process as an expert writer can get better over time with more practice and guidance. Once the methods of revising like an expert are learned practicing them and getting feedback on them is what helps a student become better at it. Throughout the rest of the first semester and all of the second semester it became easier for me to recognise global errors in mine and others works. Since I able to see ways that express my ideas making them clear and coherent to the reader. Although I am a student I do not revise like the student sommers explains in here paper. Proper guidance from a writing expert has allowed me to understand a better approach to the revision process. As a result I have become a better writer and now have the proper foundation to build and practice on when revising my writing.