Log in

Jul. 9th, 2006 @ 07:17 pm Resistant Writers
Any tips for working with a resistant writer?
What strategies do you use for a student who just sits there, thinks their writing is perfect, scowls, acts defensive, etc?
About this Entry
[User Picture Icon]
Date:July 10th, 2006 11:38 pm (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
I usually try to identify with them. (i.e. "I do this all the time when I'm writing papers, so I have to work really hard to remember this.") It helps to keep yourself on a level playing field with the student, that way they don't feel like they're on the receiving end of a holier-than-thou lecture that they really don't care about.
Date:July 11th, 2006 12:08 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
I agree with the above tip. Try not to keep the attention on you; odds are the writer already feels really criticized. The big risk of asking a lot of questions about a writer's process or his/her paper, though, is hearing about the assignment and/or the professor and how stupid/lame/boring/etc. s/he/it is. It's never an easy situation, but you manage to get through it.

One of the best things in any situation, regardless of the writer, is to begin by asking him/her to set the agenda. It sounds pretty basic to a writing consultant, but I can always use the reminder of 'Let the student tell you what s/he wants to work on in the half hour you have together.' If you have a student that just asks you to 'fix' their paper or just wants blanket approval over everything they write, ask them why they're here. Ask them if they're aware of what your center does, of how s/he can best utilize the center's services.

Hope any of this helps.
Date:November 7th, 2006 05:59 pm (UTC)

resistant writers

(Permanent Link)
First, talk to the student and ask his/her feelings about writing. I've found many students who resist writing do so because somewhere in the past they've experienced confrontation or embarrassment from writing experiences. Maybe a teacher in the past ridiculed the students' skills or a classmate said something derogatory that spiraled bad feelings about writing. Talk first, then create a safe zone where this child knows he/she can take risks with writing that he couldn't take before because you are going to accept whatever he writes and find something positive to say about it before you suggest any revisions.