Dr. Halbert's English Classes

One of the problems with traditional writing courses is that you never get a chance to go back and revise a paper based on the extensive comments given to you by the instructor.  Normally, comments made by a teacher on a paper are ignored by students who simply see the grade at the bottom of the sheet. These grades either cause students to celebrate their achievement or to curse, but in either case, students often miss the most valuable part of getting back a graded paper: the instructor's comments on what worked in the paper and what caused difficulties.

In order to encourage you to sit down and read my comments on your final drafts and on the comment sheets, I will allow each of you to revise any of your major papers as long as the paper being revised meets the following criteria:

1) The assignment/essay must have been handed in on time.  Late papers are ineligible for revision.

2) Students desiring to complete a revision will meet with the instructor to discuss strategies for successful rewriting before attempting revision. The instructor will go over the assignment with you and make sure that you understand what its strengths and weaknesses were and how to make them stronger. 

3) Unless prior approval is granted, the conference must be completed and the revision handed in no later than three weeks from the date the paper was returned. 

When you revise a paper for a new grade, I will erase whatever grade you received when I returned it to you and substitute your new score in its place.  This revision option is not, however, a giveaway: if you do not do substantial revision to your paper, you will not get any credit for reworking the paper.

What do I mean by "substantial revision"?

What will not be enough for "substantial revision"? A good place to start with your revisions is simply to read the paper again. By the time you can revise a paper, it will have been a while since you last read your old papers; you will be surprised by what parts of your essays please you and what parts dismay you.  If you find yourself disliking certain parts of your paper, that's what you should work on improving.  Likewise, look over my written comments on the draft and on the grade sheet.  The comments are meant to point to places that you might look at again.

Places to go for help with the revisions:

The revisions must include the following:

Remember, the goal of this option is to get you to really look at the value of revision.  If you simply go through the motions and make only a few changes, you aren't doing what I want you to do, and I probably won't change your grade.  Don't waste your time or mine with a half-hearted effort.  Instead, really put some effort into this revision and make your paper shine.