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               Compiled January 8, 2007
      By Mamie Webb Hixon, Writing Lab Director
     Betty Acree Burleson, Writing Lab Coordinator
      And Members of the 2007 Writing Lab Staff

                 Revised July 1, 2009
               PowerPoint June 7, 2010
                  By Rustian Phelps
            Graduate Writing Lab Assistant
   Materials for the paper reader
Each paper reading station should be
  equipped with the following:
• Computer
• Pens (preferably green, but blue is ok)
• Writing Checklist post-its
• Pocket Real Good Grammar, Too
• Set of grammar reviews
The computer’s desktop should
    include the following:
          •   Paper Reading E-Contract 1
          •   Paper Reading E-Contract 2
          •   No-Show Contract
          •   Link to ArgoMail
          •   Contracts folder for
              appropriate semester
           Desktop continued

•   Link to Dictionary.com
•   Link to MLA at OWL at Purdue
•   Link to APA at OWL at Purdue
•   Link to Turabian at University of Georgia
Desktop continued
 •   Mini-Lessons folder
 •   Procedures Folder
 •   MLA Sample Paper
 •   APA Sample Paper
 •   Turabian Sample Paper
     In the PR room, you will
        find the following:
• Syllabi and assignment sheets for
  participating instructors’ courses
• Documentation handouts for MLA, APA, and
• Style Guides for MLA, APA,
  and Turabian
• Grammar handouts
         PR Room continued

• Often-used handouts for Comp I, Comp II,
  and Intro to Lit classes
• Writing aids handouts
• Sample papers
• Samples and templates for thesis writing
Paper Reading Services
                Final Draft Paper Reading: a one-
                hour, interactive paper reading
                which focuses on the ungraded
                paper’s content, manuscript
                format, documentation style, and
                correctness of expression.

Grammar Check: recommended for long essays,
theses, dissertations, resumes, and business
correspondences. A one-hour, interactive
conference which focuses only on the ungraded
paper’s correctness of expression (language, word
choice, punctuation, etc.) and formatting.
Paper-in-Progress Brainstorming: a one-hour, interactive
session which takes the writer from the
brainstorming/invention stage of the assignment to a
skeletal outline of the paper. May not fulfill course paper
reading requirement.

Paper-in-Progress Reading: a one-hour, interactive session in
which the paper reader helps the writer incorporate cited
research material into an already prepared text or in which
the paper reader helps the writer to format the works cited
or reference page. Copies of research materials required.
Paper Tutoring: an interactive
session focusing on understanding
and/or revising a graded paper with
errors identified by the instructor.
Since this reading is composition based,
the reader should review mini-lesson PowerPoints of areas in which the
student has recurring errors.
Documentation Check: recommended for ungraded and graded
papers including abstracts, chapters from a larger text, research
papers, and proposals with required documentation. The
interactive session focuses on MLA, APA, or Turabian
documentation features only: title page; parenthetical
documentation or footnotes; and the works cited page,
reference list, or bibliography.
Group Paper Reading: All
members of the group must be
present unless each section is a
stand-alone part of the paper.
A one-hour, interactive paper
reading which focuses on both
the organizational and surface
features of the group paper:
grammar, punctuation,
sentence construction, etc.
Procedures for Paper Readers
Check-In: When students arrive for their paper
readings, they should follow the signs into the PR
room, sign in on the sheet at the front of the
room, and sit on one of the sofas to wait for their
readers. Appointments are scheduled for the top
of the hour, so readers should pay attention to
the front of the room at that time and check to
see if their students have arrived. The Labbie
from the appointment desk
will inform readers of walk-ins.
No-Shows: If a student scheduled for a paper reading
doesn’t appear by five minutes after the hour, go to
the back door by the copier and make your way to the
back of the appointment desk to confirm the no-show
with the labbie at the desk. To prevent unnecessary
congestion in front of the appointment desk, avoid
going through the front door by the sign-in sheet.
Once your no-show has been blocked out in fuchsia
on ScheduleView, you will need to fill out an E-
Contract indicating a no-show and send it to the
instructor. Assuming the appointment has been made
properly, the information you need will be available at
the appointment desk.
               Greeting the Student: Greet the student
               and make him or her feel comfortable. Be
               sure to introduce yourself and call the
student by name. If you are unsure about how to
pronounce the student’s name, or if you are unsure
about which name to use (Chinese names, for
instance, traditionally have the family name first and
the given name last, but many people Westernize
their names by altering this order upon coming to the
U. S.), just ask. In the interest of sensitivity to certain
cultural customs, it may be best not to shake hands
with the student unless he or she extends a hand first.
The Paper Reading Session:
Describe the paper reading
session, and tell the
student that it is supposed
to be interactive. Explain
the objective of the paper
reading, your role as the
paper reader, and the
student’s role as the writer.
Your Role: Identify the type of reading you are doing.
Remind the student that as the paper reader, you will
not write, grade, or proofread the paper (e.g. find all
the mistakes); that you will recommend changes; and
that as the writer, he or she should decide whether to
accept the recommended changes and apply them.
Then ask if the student has any questions about the
interactive session. Print your name and sign/initial
the top of the student’s paper.
Your Responsibility: Fill in all the blanks on top
portion of the E-contract. The student can tell you
what you need to know about the class, the
instructor, etc. Pay attention to detail, making sure
to check the “Instructor’s Assignment Provided” and
“College” boxes, fill out the box for the number of
                    pages, and indicate the type of
                    paper reading. This extra detail
                    will help the instructor determine
                    why a final draft reading, for
                    instance, lasted only 20 minutes.
                    Save the bottom portion of the
                    contract for after the student
The Student’s Responsibility:
The student should read the
Writing Lab’s policies and sign
his or her paper to indicate
agreement. The student’s
paper should be typed in
Microsoft Word, double-
spaced, and printed out. You
will read the hard copy.
Read the student’s assignment sheet, and ask
the student to explain what his or her
instructor is looking for.

Inform the student that the paper reading is
an interactive process involving both you and
the student. If he or she does not desire to
be interactive, you do not have to read the
paper. Some students may need to be
reminded to turn off their cell phones.
Determine what type of paper reading the student
needs. Read the paper as thoroughly and as
accurately as possible, noting problems in these areas:
            -Surface errors (grammar and
                   punctuation, word choice, etc.)
            -Content (thesis/claim, subclaims,
                   evidence/data, transitions,
                   organization, logic, etc.)
            -Format (MLA, APA, Turabian/
                   Chicago, title, margins, headers,
                   pagination, etc.)
            -Documentation Style (parenthetical
                   citations, Works
Non-Interference: Resist the temptation to interfere
with the student’s ownership, knowledge, and voice;
do not write the paper for the student. If you interfere
too much, the authorial voice will be yours instead of
the student’s. Remember, the writing belongs to the
writer, so refrain from suggesting specific ways for the
student to say something or
to organize the paper. Allow
the student to give you his or
her own rewording of a
sentence; if the student
verbalizes a brilliant thought,
write it down for him or her.
                     Marking the Student’s Paper: Be
                     sure to fix the problem. Make the
                     agreed-upon changes in green or
                     blue ink on the student’s paper. It’s
                     better to make the correction than
                     to tell the student to fix the
                     problem later because the student
probably will not remember what changes need to be
made. You should also circle corrections so that they
are clearly visible to the student.
Correction Symbols: If you use correction or editing
symbols, be sure to give the student a key for those
Identifying Surface Errors: Use the reading as an
opportunity to teach the student writing skills so that
he or she will improve his or her writing and eliminate
these mistakes from future paper.

Grammar Rules: Refer the student to handouts and/or
textbook sections that relate to the rule(s) he or she
violates in the paper, OR use the mini-lessons on the
Appointment Duration: Check the clock periodically,
and end the session about ten to fifteen minutes
before the hour so that you will have time to
complete the contract and send it before the next
appointment is scheduled to begin. Use your own
discretion about extending an appointment beyond
one hour. If, for instance, a student, in your
professional opinion, needs additional help, either
schedule another appointment for him or her or
continue reading for an additional one half to one
hour (if you have no appointment immediately
following this one and there are no walk-ins waiting).
Be sure to fill out the “Appointment Duration” box at
the top of the E-Contract.
Do not edit the student’s paper. Your job is to help the
student fulfill a course requirement – to produce a
final polished draft, not a “perfect,” error-free,
publishable draft.

Sample Papers: For Comp and Intro to Lit papers,
there are sample papers in the bookcase at the rear of
the PR room. These samples are an invaluable
resource for checking formatting for Comp II projects,
getting a sense of what particular instructors consider
a “good” paper, understanding logic and organization,
Limited Comments: Do not give the student a
subjective assessment of the essay or any part
of it because the student may assume that his
or her instructor’s assessment will be the
same as yours. It’s all right to give the student
encouraging comments about successful
syntactical and grammatical constructions, but
be cautious in your praise of his or her
content. Never, assign the paper a letter grade
as in “This paper should get an A!”
Comments Section:
Your comments should describe the
       interactive session: Indicate
       whether or not the student was
       prepared and participatory.
Describe specifically what features of the paper the two of you
worked on and what recommendations you made.
Avoid subjective comments. Do not use words that evaluate
       a paper’s possible grade.
Do not write that you could not find anything wrong with the
Avoid vague comments. Do not say that you corrected
       grammar errors. What kind of grammar errors? Be
       detailed in your observations.
                        Remember, if you don’t
                        know how to correct a
                        problem in a student’s
                        paper, other labbies are
                        here to help!

Save and Send: Save the completed document as a
Word 97-2003 document before exiting the contract.
Log on to Gmail by going to gmail.uwf.edu. The
ArgoNet username is writinglab (one word), and the
password changes each semester. Attach the
appropriate document, and send it to the student’s
instructor. Be sure to spell the instructor’s name
correctly and to send the contract to the right person.
What Paper Readers Should Look For
Topic Knowledge:
Does the paper show a deep understanding of the
subject matter?
Does the writer have an informed opinion about the
Are there a sufficient number of specific details and
useful examples?
Is there plenty of topic-specific
vocabulary? For example, in a
discussion of a literary work, do
terms such as authorial voice
and genre appear?
Topic Knowledge continued:

Does the writing reveal evidence
of the writer’s own thinking, or
does it simply recount the ideas
of outside sources?

Does the writer evaluate
alternative beliefs and solutions?

Is there a clear structure with an
obvious beginning, middle, and end?

Are opinions and generalizations
supported by facts, concrete examples,
and direct references to the text?

Does the writing contain effective transition words?

Does the writer avoid sentence tags like in my opinion
and I think?
Language and Mechanics:

Are the sentences well constructed and richly varied?

Is the writing generally free of mistakes in grammar,
punctuation, spelling, and capitalization?

                         Is the writing proofread and

                         Is the language of the style
                         expected in academic and/or
                         business writing?
Language and Mechanics continued:

Does the language reflect a reasonable
level of mastery for college writing?

Does the work have a polished look and

Is the writing free of inappropriate slang;
unidiomatic expressions; colloquialisms;
dialect; jargon; and sexist, racist, and
homophobic language?
Manuscript Format:
Is the work neatly and appropriately formatted?
Are the heading and title placed correctly?
Are spacing, paragraphing, and pagination consistent?

                     Is a standard format used to
                     document sources properly?

                     Is information from other sources
                     appropriately referenced, using
                     quotations and paraphrasing, and
                     avoiding plagiarism?
    Ending the Appointment
• Accompany the student to the log-
  in/log-out sheet.
• Initial the appropriate space on the
• Finish the contract and send it to the
  instructor – unless you are a new
  reader; then send it to the Lab

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