Resources for responding to student writing

ICaP mentoring, January 22, 2015
Bradley Dilger, Purdue University

These materials support a talk I gave at Purdue in Spring 2015. Feel free to use them as needed. Just cite it!

Materials I shared during the talk:

Selected how-tos

The web is full of how-to guides ranging from one-page documents like Hesse’s to much longer, comprehensive resources. Here are two from writing programs I trust:

Do a few Google searches and find some you like: try responding student writing, or feedback writing.

Maureen Daly Goggin’s excellent Guide to Teaching the Norton Field Guide to Writing has three relevant chapters. You can borrow a copy from the ICaP office:

Some scholarship:

Subscription access is required for some links below. Purdue students can contact me for a PDF.

The journal Assessing Writing is very helpful, e.g. this special issue “Feedback in Writing: Issues and Challenges” (Volume 19, January 2014).

For many, Nancy Sommers wrote the book (or at least the article) on response. Try her “Responding to Student Writing” from CCC 33.2 (1982): 148–56, or “Re-Visions: Rethinking Nancy Sommers’s ‘Responding to Student Writing,’” from 2006, which includes a reflection from Sommers and short essays from several other scholars.

Another influential piece comes from Rich Haswell: “Minimal Marking,” College English 45 (1983): 600-4. In 2006, Haswell’s “The Complexities of Responding...” (in Across the Disciplines 3) offered a significant update.

Richard Straub is also well known for his work on response, especially his book Twelve Readers Reading: Responding to College Student Writing, a collaboration with Ronald Lunsford (Hampton, 1995). Straub wrote many other essays, including one about peer review directed to students, “Responding—Really Responding—to Other Students’ Writing,” which is anthologized in Downs & Wardle’s Writing about Writing.

For many more sources, try citation searches for these influential pieces, or see Rebecca Moore Howard’s bibliography (though note she combines grading and response).

Bradley Dilger's web stuff