Myths and Realties

When Not to Respond

Designing Writing Assignments

Commenting: Margins and End

Commenting on Drafts


Helping Students Learn Editing

Helping Students Learn to Fix Errors

Overview of Rhetorical Context

Discipline Specific Resources

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Authors & Contributors

Commenting in the Margins and at the End of the Paper

Although you may not have time to write very many comments, even a few specific comments in the margins (about what the student does particularly well or where the student needs to concentrate on specific strategies for the next paper) will make your end comments more helpful for students. Follow the links below for additional pointers to make margin and end comments more useful for students but less burdensome for you.

If, however, you think you might have more than a few minutes per paper to give feedback to students, then other strategies are likely to be more helpful. The following sections set out advice from a variety of composition teachers about both their process of commenting and their focus in commenting on student writing.

Finally, if you collect drafts to spend more of your commenting time before the paper is in its final form, consider the advice in these sections: