Double-Entry Paper

When students hand in a paper (that you have told them needs to be kept on a thumb drive or their computer as well as given to you in hard copy), give them the following assignment to be done by the next class period. Have students create a table in Word with two columns but only one row. Have them place their entire paper in the right-hand column. In the left-hand column they are to put evaluative comments about the effectiveness of the paper they have written. 

You can thus provide two grades for this paper. The first grade will be for the paper itself. The second grade will be for the student’s paragraph-by-paragraph assessment of his paper. This assignment helps train students to read their own work critically. It also can be followed up by a re-write. 

Note: Since the ability to discern quality writing usually develops faster than the ability to produce it, you probably need to support this assignment with some in-class reflection on how the development of a critical ear can initially make a student feel that his writing has gotten worse because he is finally noticing its inadequacy. Students can feel in despair at this juncture and a word from the professor to normalize this feeling can help students see their frustration as a sign of positive growth and may encourage them to persevere.