Road to an Action Plan: The Charette Protocol

What Is It? 

The Charette Protocol is a method of discussion involving three phases of sending and receiving information.  The purpose of the protocol is to give all parties involved ample time to speak in an uninterrupted setting and to actively listen to the concerns of others. 


How Does It Work?

The protocol requires three participants: a timekeeper, a speaker, and a listener.  The protocol is set up in three cycles of listener/speaker as follows:



The speaker explains the problems.  In this case, the problems are related to the essay writing process.


The listener and timekeeper actively listen and make notes on the problem.

2 minutes


The speaker actively listens and takes notes.


The listener and timekeeper discuss methods of attacking the problem in role play format: they act as if the problems being discussed are in fact their own.  Responses should provide advice for improving the problems lain out by the speaker during phase one.  

3 minutes


The speaker interprets the feedback and explains which information was helpful.


The listener and timekeeper actively listen.

1 minute


Don’t Break Protocol!

In order to have a successful protocol, it is essential that while one person is speaking, the others are silent.  This allows the speaker to fully explain all aspects of the problem. 


Possible “Problems” For Speakers: not budgeting enough time for drafting, lack of thorough revision, not a good self-editor, failure to meet deadlines, cannot organize thoughts, not enough evidence, cannot take good notes while reading, not a successful outliner, having trouble starting the essay, fear of failure, perfectionism, no access to a quiet place to write in, trouble understanding the rubric, trouble with attention getter, thesis statements, topic sentences, conclusions, etc., trouble with vocabulary, etc.  The possibilities are endless!


For Starters

Take five minutes to free write and detail one specific problem that you would like to discuss in today’s protocol.  This is your chance to complain, brainstorm, and hone in on the skills that you truly want to improve.  Free writes should be made on a separate sheet of paper.  PUSH YOURSELF!  More free writing=more efficient and beneficial protocol.


Essay Action Plan

Once protocol is complete, take time to create an Essay Action Plan. Plans should reflect strategies discussed during the Charette Protocol and should clearly outline three distinct areas for improvement.  Action plans should be written on an official Essay Action Plan handout.