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“What are you trying to say?": Strategies for commenting on and reading student writing. Dan Driscoll, Associate Director of the Drexel Writing Center Scott Warnock, Director of the Writing Center and Writing Across the Curriculum. Plan. Experiences Philosophies Roles Techniques

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“What are you trying to say?": Strategies for commenting on and reading student writing


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    1. “What are you trying to say?": Strategies for commenting on and reading student writing Dan Driscoll, Associate Director of the Drexel Writing CenterScott Warnock, Director of the Writing Center and Writing Across the Curriculum

    2. Plan • Experiences • Philosophies • Roles • Techniques • Technologies

    3. “What are you trying to say?" • When reading our writing, could students often wonder the same thing that we do? • Why do we comment? Who are we when we comment? Write-talk-write What do you think about when you respond to student writing? What’s your mindset? What do you feel?

    4. Writers’ experiences with response? • Too much • Too little • Too glib • Unrelated to task • Mean What is your relationship to the writer?

    5. Sommers, Nancy. “Responding to Student Writing.”

    6. Sommers, Nancy. “Responding to Student Writing.”

    7. Write-talk-write What does the reader see in your comments? What does your response look like visually?

    8. Philosophy of response • What are you trying to accomplish with writing in the course? • Writing/content knowledge – where is the emphasis? • Why are you using writing in your course? • Grading vs. responding • Summative vs. formative • The grammar question

    9. Roles (not exclusive) • Reader • Reflector? • Not judge • Could you enjoy this? • Teacher • Coach • Interlocutor • Expert (Writing? Content?) • Hammer • Editor • Grader • Judge Who should fill these roles?

    10. Techniques • Questions • End/opening comment letter • Commenting throughout • Editing/correcting • Conferencing • Rubrics • Categories/comment guides • Collective (mass?) commentary • Select samples • Peer review

    11. Technologies • In-text commenting (Word, etc.) • Track Changes commenting • Waypoint • AV • Blackboard Learn • Humbler options…

    12. Audiovisual response

    13. Working with your students’ writing Look at your sample of student writing. Identify/describe: • Philosophy • Role • Technique • Technology

    14. Principles • Why are you giving feedback in the first place? • What are your goals? What is your purpose? • Who are you as a responder? • Decide what students need from you as a responder • Where are they in the process? • A lot of comments teachers make aren’t very useful because they are inappropriate for that part of the process • Good assignments lead to better response • Many technologies help make responding less onerous • Lighten up on grammar

    15. Resources Hesse, Doug. "13 Ways of Looking at Responding to Student Writing.http://www.temple.edu/wi/documentsll/13WaysRespondingDougHesse.pdf. Haswell, Richard. “The Complexities of Responding to Student Writing; or, Looking for Shortcuts via the Road of Excess.” Across the Disciplines 3 (2006). <http://wac.colostate.edu/atd/articles/haswell2006.cfm> Hodges, Elizabeth.  “Negotiating the Margins: Some Principles for Responding to Our Students’ Writing, Some Strategies for Helping Students Read Our Comments.”  New Directions for Teaching and Learning 69 (Spring 1997): 27-39. Clyde Moneyhun. "Less Is More in Response to Student Writing." Strategies for Teaching First-Year Composition. Eds. Duane Roen, Veronica Patoja, Lauren Yena, Susan K. Miller, Eric Waggoner. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 2002. “Responding to Student Writing - Principles and Practices.” Sweetland Writing Center. http://www.crlt.umich.edu/gsis/p8_1 Sommers, Jeff. "Spoken Response: Space, Time, and Movies of the Mind.” Writing with Elbow. Eds. Pat Belanoff, Marcia Dickson, Sheryl I. Fontaine, and Charles Moran.  Logan: Utah State Press, 2002. Sommers, Nancy.  “Responding to Student Writing.”  College Composition and Communication (May 1982): 148-156. Straub, Richard, ed. A Sourcebook for Responding to Student Writing. Cresskill: Hampton Press, Inc., 1999. Straub, Richard and Ronald F. Lunsford. Twelve Readers Reading: Responding to College Student Writing. Cresskill: Hampton Press, Inc., 1995. Warnock, Scott. “Responding to Student Writing with Audio-Visual Feedback.” Writing and the iGeneration: Composition in the Computer-Mediated Classroom. Eds. Terry Carter and Maria A. Clayton. Southlake, TX: Fountainhead Press, 2008. 201-27. Welch, Nancy. “Sideshadowing Teacher Response.” College English60.4 (1998): 374-95. White, Edward M. Assigning, Responding, Evaluating: A Writing Teacher’s Guide. 4th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2007.