This stage of the writing process is the most familiar. Students take their assignments home and prepare a draft for submission to the teacher at a later date. The difference is that, since the student has gone through several steps of analysis on their writing, the piece that the teacher receives is going to be superior in several ways.
Since the working draft is attached on top of the editor’s comments, the rough draft, and the prewriting, there no doubt that the student’s work is their own writing.
Evidence of Thought
The development of thought should be evident in the work that the teacher reads. Even after the working draft is graded, a teacher may review the journey that the writer took to get to where they are in the most recent draft.
The very fact that a student has had to set their writing goals before drafting and discuss their thoughts between drafts ensures that the quality of the working draft will be far superior to anything that would have been casually assigned for homework.
We’re only half-way there
The power of a paper trail will become evident when I post about writing folders. The working draft is only the midpoint in this process. Much more has to be done and, although the next step is more teacher-intensive, it is ultimately necessary. For now, sit back and grade your papers.