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Dialogic mentoring through grading

A mentor develops relationships through dialogs with student writers. Sometimes the dialog takes place through comments on papers or grading sheets, but these comments have to be fashioned with the main goal in mind: a helpful human connection. Here are points to remember:

  • Make your first comment a "person to person comment." Put it at the top of the grading sheet. If you don't connect, the student will probably not look at the circled errors or other comments. You're making a bid for a conversation. If you start comments out with a bland, "Nice job!" readers don't have any reason to think you read the paper carefully or that you have anything worth listening to. When you're grading, you're in charge. When students get their papers back (if they pick them up), they're in charge. You need to acknowledge their power by addressing their initiative: "You used this essay to investigate a new explanation for the Cambrian explosion. Being able to recognize the critical features of a new theory like this one will help you keep up with this rapidly changing field."
  • Be selective in what you comment on. Students turn off overwhelming criticism or feedback. Do not “nitpick” or emphasize grammar, punctuation, and style. If you would like to comment on these things, pick one or two errors to highlight which, when addressed, would most dramatically improve the student’s writing.
  • Make a difference with your help. Link your written advice to those aspects that would change the paper's quality. Don't correct a comma when the value of the whole sentence is in doubt. Work on the organization, the clarity of the thesis, and the forecasting sentence in each paragraph before making notes about other aspects.
  • Use your time for comments that describe rather than label. Many English teachers maintain their power through negative labels: "awkward," "trite," or "vague." You wouldn't say that to the student directly in a conversation, and it won't help the student write better, so rephrase to describe what you're seeing: "The sentence has three major claims in it, but I can't tell how you want me to see their relationship." "If only I had a specific example from the article, I would be able to understand your reasoning better." "This phrase is so general that it doesn't make your point precisely."


Helping students read scientific articles well

In many courses, students must write a summary or critique of a published research article. Younger students often struggle to read journal articles and will seek your help as a more experienced reader and writer.

Before they read the article, tell them to make a short list of questions, issues, or concerns that caused them to seek the article in the first place. Those questions will function like "mental hooks" to snag connections as they read.

While they're reading the article, suggest that they

  • Make notes (see page 8 for a note-taking template)
  • Highlight key passages
  • Draw lines between the highlighted parts and write a phrase that shows in their own words how these passages are connected
  • Look for evidence that a concept explained in class was applied to a new population or situation
  • Look for evidence that contradicts something that was said in class
  • Figure out relationships among key concepts

Questions & Answers

anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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