Thursday, February 21, 2008

Cumulative Writing Folder

Cumulative Writing Folder

To become a better writer, you must often and review your past compositions to see how you can improve. This writing folder will help you do this—it will be a record of what you have written. The folder will also help your readers see your work over time. The written work that goes into this folder should be your best effort.

The focus correction system used in this folder might be something new to you. Don't worry; the system should help you improve your writing more quickly by focusing your attention on one, two, or three areas in any one composition. For example, in some compositions your reader will tell you to focus on your word choice and organization, while in others the focus might be on sentence variety and the use of details.

Your reader will tell what what the focus correction areas are before the final draft of your composition. Remember to follow the recommendations for composition form listed below. Some day, you'll pull out this folder and reread what you have written this year. It will be very interesting reading.

Reader Comment Key

Any time the reader stars a comment or abbreviation in the margin, it is a signal that it is a positive comment. Look for the starred comments. They will help you find your strengths.

* opening - good beginning for your composition

* closing - good ending for your composition

* W.C. - excellent word choice

* d. - excellent use of detail to support your idea

Sp. - the word with a check over it has been misspelled

awk. - this section does not sound right

cap. - there is a capitalization error in this line

frag. - this is a sentence fragment (an incomplete sentence)

run-on - there are two sentences punctuated as one

- begin a new paragraph on this line

< - you left out something

? - I don't understand this

Composition Form


Do not be concerned with how the first draft looks — it's a working copy! It doesn't go in the folder.

• Write in pencil.

• Skip a line between each line you write. You can use this space for editing.

• Leave at least one inch margins on both sides of the paper.

When you have finished your first draft, read it out loud in a soft voice. Ask yourself these three questions:

1. Did I follow the assignment?

2. Does the composition sound right? Is it easy to read?

3. Have I carefully checked for problems in the focus correction areas?

When you can say yes to the above questions, have someone read your composition to you out loud. Go over questions 1, 2, and 3 together.

FINAL DRAFT (to go in your folder)

Be concerned about how your final draft looks. It represents your best work!

• Write in pen.

• Do not use paper ripped from a spiral-bound notebook.

• Write your name on the top line, right hand side; the date on the second line, right hand side.

• Keep the focus correction area(s) in mind.

• Write a title for your composition on the fifth line from the top. Capitalize all important words in your title and all other words longer than five letters.

• Leave at least one inch margins on both sides of the paper.

• Have a reader read it out loud to you, check the focus correction areas, and sign it at the end.

Ideas for this Cumulative Writing Folder were developed in conjunction with by John Collins.

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