English Faculty Publications

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The High School Journal


We teachers believe the written responses we put on our students' papers are as clear, concise, and focused as they can be. Most of us assume that students understand what we write on their papers, and if the students choose to use them for future writing, then the comments will assist with successive drafts. However, how many of us have asked our students what they think about the ways that we respond to their writing? Or how many of us have even thought about the role that our comments play in our students' writing? Scenarios like Tim and Angie's above are not uncommon. Students do understand the majority of the comments we write on their papers, but often they have a difficult time seeing the responses' importance for revision. Too often, because of our assumption that students understand all that we write on their papers, we don't stop to explain or elaborate certain responses that they believe to be vague or ambiguous. For us, then, it is crucial that our students understand clearly our commenting styles and the types of comments that we typically employ when marking papers. By beginning to come to an understanding about how we respond to our students ' texts , they will not be put in situations similar to Tim and Angie's. This article will examine high school students' perceptions of the written teacher comments they received on one set of classroom papers. The first section of the article will look at what existing research tells us about responding to students' writing.

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University of North Carolina Press





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