13.0255 revision in public

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Sun, 31 Oct 1999 11:38:28 +0000 (GMT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 13, No. 255.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 05:23:01 +0100
From: A Morrison <ahm@gpu.srv.ualberta.ca>
Subject: Re: 13.0251 history of humanities computing? revision in

> How many of us do that with our own work? Is it an effective pedagogical
> technique in a writing class? What implications does it hold for how we

oh my goodness. isn't this how we all work? i run things past at least
two different readers, in several different versions, before i commit to
handing it in/sending it off. but the visibility of the process is very
narrow ... and i owe favours to those who read my over-semi-coloned

obviously, this semi-public revision process works best when my readers
know what i'm talking about -- to move this system onto the web is just a
means (i think) of broadening the cast-for-readers who will challenge and
extend your thinking on a topic. that's good for the writer, for sure.

for how we work? well ... how often will we reread a paper posted/edited
this way? how do we mark off the newly-hatched from the well-thought-out?
how do you cite something that's constantly in flux? will this make us
lazier as writers or crankier as readers? probably ...

for teaching purposes, it's grand. i'm always trying to convince my
students that i rewrite everything at least five times, that writing, even
by professional writers -- hey, especially by professional writers -- is a
process of constant, thoughtful revision. if we can *mark* this process
in our semi-published works, then the point is really hit home.

i think taking reader responses into account is great, but that anything
web-previewed should at least demonstrate that the writer has in fact put
in time and effort enough to make it worth my (very pressed) time as a
reader. so, no typos, etc (unlike in this email ...) it's not about
transfering responsibility from the writer to a cadre of anonymous
editors, but rather of extending the writer's responsibility by making
him/her more immediately accountable/available.

always putting on that positive spin on things ...
aimee morrison
phd program, dept of english
university of alberta
edmonton, alberta

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