For me the most important part of the revisions are the cover letters. I require that students state what they changed and why. I do this because if they don't understand what they did wrong and more importantly how to correct it, then they will continue to make these mistakes.
In general, students do well on this. But the cover letters also let me see where the disconnects still are, and what additional materials or help I should provide.
There were still some students that did not do a close reading. I do not know how to fix this. We spent eight weeks doing close reading practice in class assignments. The feedback focused on this, and I thought the assignment guidelines were clear. In general I saw plot summary and generalizations rather than textual examples and analysis tied to that. I also saw that thesis and topic statements needed work
So for the thematic paper, I did create this to help walk them through what the paper should do in addition to the assignment guidelines.
It also builds on the weaknesses I noticed.
I put it in announcements, but that does depend on them taking advantage of it.
This paper also builds on the close reading, and I encourage them to use their feedback to improve.
many took advantage of the chance to revise. This could be due to busy
schedules, being willing to "eat" the grade because other ones count
more or Option C (something else entirely).
But they did have the option.
And hopefully the ones who did revise found the back and forth email discussions helpful.
I HOPE that I see improvement in the thematic papers because of all these interventions. I HOPE that more see the value in revising. That's how they are designed.
But that's hard to know if they don't revise and share in their cover letters.