1) Myth: “Good writing is clear!” Who can argue against clear writing? But clarity involves more than an author creating lucid syntactical patterns. Clarity is also a function of the background knowledge and expectations of readers. “Humpty Dumpty was pushed!” shouts the bumper sticker. But if readers haven’t heard that nursery rhyme or know a […]
Sometimes we can leave a class feeling pretty good. The discussion went well, we think: it was lively, insightful, sophisticated. As instructors, we spoke a lot, so the class was certainly engaging for us. But if we’re honest, we may have to admit that only about a third of the students spoke—the same people who […]
Peer responding can be constructive Writers can become highly motivated to revise when peer readers with some training and practice respond to larger issues in a draft such as content, organization, tone, emphasis, use of evidence or details, etc. But to get productive peer response sessions, that is, responses balanced with both earned praise and […]
Prioritize Most students will spend only a few minutes reading your comments. So prioritize. What are a couple of things they should work on for the next draft or the next assignment? What are you responding to? Early draft? Mid-stage draft? Finished project that you’re grading? The context should drive your responding decisions.