Thursday, September 15, 2011

Feel the Flow

When a student asks me to check whether or not their paper "flows," I assume that they mean they want me to look at organization and transitions. I will confirm with them that they are looking for that, and ask follow-up questions if they are not. This helps me to get an idea of how to approach the session.

I have had a few tutees ask for specifics like punctuation or tell me that they tend to use too many commas, but many just say, "I'm supposed to have you look at my paper and sign something." I'd rather have something vague like "flow" than nothing at all.

Regardless of what the tutee asks for, if/when I see an opportunity to help them understand a concept that they are struggling with, or simply missing, in their paper I will point out what I have noticed and try to help them on that issue as well as what they came in for. The most common of these is thesis development. I have had quite a few tutees with some minor typos and punctuation corrections, but the thesis does not connect to the rest of the paper. Often the conclusion will lead to a good thesis. I share with them that I usually write my papers with a place-holder thesis, and when I'm done and re-read the whole paper I'll update my thesis to reflect the direction of the paper.


Post a Comment

<< Home