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

Myths and Realities

Commenting on student writing is time-consuming and often frustrating. Some of my worst moments as a teacher happened when I gave back student papers, watched students flip to the grade, and then saw students drop the papers into the wastebasket on the way out of the classroom. One of the grim realities of teaching through our writing assignments is that we cannot guarantee that students will take the time to learn from our comments about their writing. But we need to try to maximize our effectiveness as teachers responding to writing so that we have the best chance to engage students' attention on our commentary. Dispelling some myths about "grading" papers seems like the best place to begin boosting teacher effectiveness.