Process-oriented writing instruction stresses the value of between-draft revision. Yet current literature and traditional pedagogy have provided little guidance for motivating student writers to look beyond surface errors to develop and to refine their communicative intentions. Based on the assumption that this deep-level revision is most productive in terms of writing skills development, this paper suggests that teacher feedback with an inquiring stance engages student writers in negotiation over the emerging meaning of their texts. Sample draft compositions are used to explore the assumptions and implications of this instructional stance to student writing. Acknowledging the instructional context framing any assignment, the authors argue that addressing developing writers' communicative purposes through an inquiring stance to early drafts motivates revision and thus creates opportunities for writing skills development.
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