Our expectations and resulting comments should be informed by the stage of writing we're evaluating. If we're reading an early draft, we probably won't expect polished prose and generally won't comment at all on mechanical issues. Instead, our comments will emphasize one or two goals that will contribute to the student's growth as a writer while enhancing this paper in particular. In contrast, our comments on a final draft will use observations of the current work to direct the student toward future writing tasks. We will also have higher expectations regarding format and other conventions than we have of an early draft. We can address these in terms of how successfully the writer has assessed and addressed audience expectations, a concern that is present in any writing situation.
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