improves the performance of any skill, many of us resent, postpone or even shun
college entrance exam is given early in March, so I’m in tutoring crunch time.
I tell my students that practicing on sample tests will increase their speed in
answering questions. As few things are as mind-numbing as ACT practice tests, it’s
safe to say that none of my students has ever done her homework.
asked my son, Jeremy, how to get students to practice.
teacher writes a metronome setting, and I’m so scared, I practice until I can
play that fast.”
approach works for Jeremy because he owns the problem. He understands that
becoming a great guitar player includes the ability to play fast with clean
articulation. My students don’t see how recognizing an Oxford comma or a 3-4-5
right triangle will help them excel in college. Imagine that!
used to say, “Practice makes perfect.” But how do writers practice?
novels: Few writers publish the first novel they tried to write. All those manuscripts
languishing on my hard drive have honed my writing skills.
exercises: I do fewer of these than I used to. Perhaps it’s time to revisit the
literary version of scales and arpeggios.
writing: See above.
Re-writing and re-envisioning are essential. It’s safe to say I practice revising