The Rhetoric Revision Log
A Technique for Teaching Rhetorical Features in ESL Writing
Keywords:Second Language Writing, error logs, Rhetoric, Teacher Conferences
The current study reports on the “rhetoric revision log,” which was developed to help second language writing students track their progress in improving rhetoric-related issues in their writing (such as organization and topic development). Sixty-six English as a second language (ESL) students were divided into one control and two treatment groups. Students in the two treatment groups used the rhetoric revision log to keep a record of teacher written feedback in several rhetoric-related areas throughout the course of one semester. The two treatment groups differed in that in one the students used only the log (log-only), while in the other (log + conference) students also participated in structured writing conferences in which the teacher discussed the rhetoric revision log with the students. Results revealed that both treatment groups improved more in their overall writing ability than the control group. Moreover, students in the log + conference group were more likely than the other two groups to improve in rhetoric-related writing features over the course of the semester. These findings suggest that using the rhetoric revision log helped students improve not only rhetoric-related aspects of their writing, but also their overall writing ability.
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