Responding to Student Writers

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-08-01
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

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From Nancy Sommers, Responding to Student Writers offers a model for thinking about responding as a dialogue and not a fix-it operation - and for thinking about the benefits of responding to writers as well as to their writing. Braddock Award-winning teacher-scholar Nancy Sommers has taught composition and run composition programs for more than three decades. As the principal investigator of the Harvard Study of Undergraduate Writing, she followed 400 students to explore the role of writing in undergraduate education and to see comments through students' eyes. Sommers currently teaches writing and mentors future teachers in Harvard's Graduate School of Education. In this resource, she focuses on the roles that teacher feedback plays in writers' development.

Author Biography

Nancy Sommers, who has taught composition and directed composition programs for thirty years, now teaches writing and mentors new writing teachers at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.  She led Harvard’s Expository Writing Program for twenty years, directing the first-year writing program and establishing Harvard’s WAC program. A two-time Braddock Award winner, Sommers is well known for her research and publications on student writing. Her articles Revision Strategies of Student and Experienced Writers and Responding to Student Writing are two of the most widely read and anthologized articles in the field of composition.  Her recent work involves a longitudinal study of college writing to understand the role writing plays in undergraduate education. Sommers is the lead author on Hacker handbooks, all published by Bedford/St. Martin’s, and is coauthor of Fields of Reading, Ninth Edition (2010).

Table of Contents

Note to Fellow Teachersp. vii
Introductionp. x
Why comments matterp. xi
Considering a writer's developmentp. xii
Seeing comments through students' eyesp. xii
The call-and-response of commentingp. xiii
Setting the scene for respondingp. 1
Offering one lesson at a timep. 1
Understanding the purpose of commentsp. 2
The dangers of overcommentingp. 4
Responding to rough versus final draftsp. 5
Finding the right tonep. 5
Developing a common languagep. 7
Creating a link between classroom and commentsp. 7
Engaging students in a dialogue about their writingp. 9
Establishing a role for students in the dialoguep. 9
Revising with commentsp. 11
The Dear Reader letterp. 12
Making the most of commentsp. 13
Writing marginal commentsp. 16
Marginaliap. 16
Less is sometimes morep. 17
Developing a scale of concernsp. 17
Writing end commentsp. 21
End comments on early draftsp. 21
End comments on final draftsp. 23
Taking students seriouslyp. 24
Managing the paper loadp. 26
Focusing on student learningp. 27
Varying the purpose of commentsp. 29
Varying the style of commentsp. 30
Mentoring students to become thoughtful readersp. 31
Resisting the urge to correct grammar and punctuation errorsp. 31
Finding a role for grading rubricsp. 33
A case study: One reader readingp. 34
Reading Lena's draftp. 40
Brief Bibliographyp. 43
Responding to Student Writers: Best Practicesp. 44
Indexp. 47
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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