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In my classes, some kinds of errors are more serious than others.  Errors that impede meaning (such as sentence fragments) are for more detrimental than the occasional missing apostrophe.  To help your students understand different degrees of error have them work collaboratively to create a “Err-O-Meter” that measures the seriousness of different kinds of errors.  If you have them create these scales in small groups you can also have a discussion about why groups chose different errors as more or less serious.  Use this exercise to then create a guide to the most serious errors, having students include tips for checking for the error and listing the section of the handbook that addresses it.
About the Author
Barclay Barrios is an Associate Professor of English and Director of Writing Programs at Florida Atlantic University, where he teaches freshman composition and graduate courses in composition methodology and theory, rhetorics of the world wide web, and composing digital identities. He was Director of Instructional Technology at Rutgers University and currently serves on the board of Pedagogy. Barrios is a frequent presenter at professional conferences, and the author of Emerging.