Responding to Student Writing

For most faculty, the biggest concern with asking students to write is finding the time to respond well when students do write. Fortunately, research in Writing Studies suggests a number of ways to make grading easier and more effective. Here are a few resources to get you started:

If you want to dig even deeper, these articles examine how students respond to faculty feedback:

While this focuses on a particular field, it offers a useful summary of research on students’ responses to faculty comments on papers. See pp. 501-503, especially.

Again, the study here focuses on a particular field (in this case Marketing), but the authors review the research on students’ attitudes toward faculty feedback.

This piece reports on a study of how faculty actually comment on student papers, finding – not surprisingly – that we write more about technical matters than about substance, which, the authors suggest, “may prevent students from improving the quality of the larger issues in writing and refocus them on the smaller, albeit important, technical issues of writing.”

For a demonstration of one professor’s approach to responding to a student’s Science magazine commentary, watch this screencast: