Chapter 3: page 16

Wait! What about Research?

Step Six: Research

Discovering new information about your topic can occur at any point in the writing process. You may need to conduct research when you are in the prewriting step of the writing process to learn about the topic you chose or have been assigned. Research may occur later in your writing process as you create a writing plan and discover you would like to learn about other points of view about your topic. You may need to conduct research as you draft to introduce the counterargument or to learn more about the topic you are introducing. Typically, research occurs throughout the writing process, and ends when revision does. Fear not, we will spend more time with research in greater detail in Chapter 4 with Dan to give you insight into working with research in MLA format as you find and present credible sources ethically in your work.

Image Source: Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash.com, @impatrickt

Step Seven: Peer Feedback

Discussion Forum

Let’s Help Each Other, and Learn From Each Other along the way.

We will engage in various forms of peer feedback in our class over the term. Sometimes you will ask for feedback about your writing whereas other times you will use guidelines based on the assignments’ expectations. You will give and receive formative feedback to guide you as you revise your work. To do so, you will use techniques to help you give and receive the most helpful feedback. Keep in mind the more specific you are when you give feedback, the more helpful your feedback will be. Since you are reading your peers’ work and responding to it in writing, peer review is another “recursive” part of the reading and writing process.

Pixar, the film studio in our neighboring Emeryville, accredits much of their success in filmmaking —fifteen Academy Awards, nine Golden Globes and eleven Grammys, to name a few—to the manner in which they give and receive feedback.  They call it “Plussing,” which is based on the core principles of improvisation, and is as follows:

 1. Accept all offers: Accepting all offers means to be open to the feedback you are receiving, which you take and then evaluate it to see if and how you will use in your revision plan.  

2. Say “yes and…”: instead of saying “yes but…” because “but” silences the writer, saying “Yes, and…” or “What if…” or “Yes and what if we were now to…” builds on the work that is present and makes the feedback collaborative.

3. Make your partner look good: separating the writing from the person by using language like, “In this paragraph, I think there are two main points, which to me are…” instead of “you have two main points in this paragraph.” Analyzing the writing and being specific with your feedback keeps us open to receiving feedback and allows us to hear it.

To help you use the techniques of plussing, you will use Eli Review’s framework for giving feedback—Describe, Evaluate, Suggest—and we will sneak in “Encourage” because we all need a little encouragement, especially when creating.

Describe what part of the writer’s draft you are referring to and assume that the writer cannot see what you have highlighted.
Evaluatethe highlighted work by naming which criteria you are addressing from the assignment and share how effective the highlighted text is and why.
Suggesta strategy, ask a question or recommend a goal the writer could consider when revising.
Encouragethe writer by sharing what you learned from reading the essay.


“Revision is the heart of writing. Every page I do is done over seven or eight times.”

Patricia Reilly Giff

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