Tutoring Writing Week #11
Responding to Student Writing, Responding
to Language Diversity, Responding to Errors
Nancy Sommers
“Responding to Student Writing” CCC (1982).
Her research questions:
1) What comments do teachers make on
stu...
Method
• Team of three researchers.
• Analyzed comments by 35 teachers from 2
schools (NYU and U of OK) along with
comment...
In class exercise:
Are the results of this study true today?
• As I review the three main results of this
study, please ta...
Results #1
• “…the calm, reasonable language of the
computer provided quite a contrast to the
hostility and mean-spiritedn...
Results #2
• “teacher’s comments can take students away
from their own purposes in writing a
particular text and focus tha...
Result #3
• “most teachers comments are not text-
specific and could be interchanged, rubber-
stamped, from text to text” ...
Sommers’s Suggestions
• Address students’ reasoning first, which may
push writers back into the messiness of
making meanin...
Implications for Writing Center Work
• “As a means for helping students, they
[written comments] have limitations; they ar...
In class exercise
• Pretend that a student comes to you with
their paper marked as the paper Sommers
presents on page 150-...
Lunsford and Lunsford’s Top Twenty
• "'Mistakes are a Fact of Life': A National
Comparative Study." College Composition an...
Lunsford and Conners 1988
• Note conflict:
o The process approach deems the marking of
errors as outside the work of colle...
Method
• Collect 21,500 papers from 300 teachers.
• Select representative sample.
• Develop taxonomy of errors.
• Create t...
Results
• The errors teacher mark vary.
• Teacher mark fewer than half of the errors in
students’ papers.
• The numbers of...
Lunsford and Lunsford
• Types of writing students complete growing
more complex.
• Types of error:
o 1 computer: wrong wor...
Lunsford and Lunsford
• What are the implications for writing center
work?
• What are the implications for attention to
la...
Language Diversity: Victoria Osgood
• She reviews the work of Peter Elbow, Geneva
Smitherman, Lisa Delpit, Erica Lindemann...
In class exercise-
to be finished on the blog for homework.
• Review Victoria Osgood’s essay. Note where you
agree and dis...
What is at stake? Language loss.
What else is at stake?
Tw week #11. 2pptx
Tw week #11. 2pptx
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Tw week #11. 2pptx

  1. 1. Tutoring Writing Week #11 Responding to Student Writing, Responding to Language Diversity, Responding to Errors
  2. 2. Nancy Sommers “Responding to Student Writing” CCC (1982). Her research questions: 1) What comments do teachers make on student papers? How does our theory of responding compare with actual practices? 2) How do students feel about these comments. Which comments motivate substantial revision?
  3. 3. Method • Team of three researchers. • Analyzed comments by 35 teachers from 2 schools (NYU and U of OK) along with comments generated by computer program. • Interviewed a sample of teachers and students.
  4. 4. In class exercise: Are the results of this study true today? • As I review the three main results of this study, please take notes about how your experience compares with their results. • I will pose a question for each result to get your started. • We will discuss your answers.
  5. 5. Results #1 • “…the calm, reasonable language of the computer provided quite a contrast to the hostility and mean-spiritedness of most of the teachers’ comments” (149). • Have you received mean-spirited comments on your writing?
  6. 6. Results #2 • “teacher’s comments can take students away from their own purposes in writing a particular text and focus that attention on the teacher’s purpose in commenting” (149). – “Contradictory messages”: teachers mark both HOC’s and LOC’s. – Students thus have trouble prioritizing which comments to attend to when they revise. • What types of comments help/hinder you?
  7. 7. Result #3 • “most teachers comments are not text- specific and could be interchanged, rubber- stamped, from text to text” (152). • Do you get generic comments on your writing?
  8. 8. Sommers’s Suggestions • Address students’ reasoning first, which may push writers back into the messiness of making meaning rather than the tidiness of editing. • Base comments on the students’ stage in the writing process. • Create connections between comments and goals of the writing class.
  9. 9. Implications for Writing Center Work • “As a means for helping students, they [written comments] have limitations; they are, in fact, disembodied remarks—one absent writer talking to another” (155). • How can writing tutors intervene here?
  10. 10. In class exercise • Pretend that a student comes to you with their paper marked as the paper Sommers presents on page 150-151. • How would you respond to this student? • Take about 10 minutes to discuss this in small groups.
  11. 11. Lunsford and Lunsford’s Top Twenty • "'Mistakes are a Fact of Life': A National Comparative Study." College Composition and Communication, forthcoming. • Updates Andrea Lunsford and Robert Conner’s 1988 paper “Frequency of Formal Errors in College Students Writing: Or Ma and Pa Kettle do Research”
  12. 12. Lunsford and Conners 1988 • Note conflict: o The process approach deems the marking of errors as outside the work of college writing teachers. o Teachers (and other readers) notice errors. • They aim to determine the errors teachers mark and the errors students make.
  13. 13. Method • Collect 21,500 papers from 300 teachers. • Select representative sample. • Develop taxonomy of errors. • Create team of 50 readers.
  14. 14. Results • The errors teacher mark vary. • Teacher mark fewer than half of the errors in students’ papers. • The numbers of errors remain constant, but the types of errors have changed, reflecting what Lunsford and Conners call “visual memory problems.”
  15. 15. Lunsford and Lunsford • Types of writing students complete growing more complex. • Types of error: o 1 computer: wrong word o 7 punctuation: 2, 7, 11, 13, 15, 16, 20 o 2 pronoun: vague, lack of agreement o 3 documentation: quotation, format, integration o 5 mechanics: spelling, capitalization, missing word o 2 other: sentence structure (syntax), verb tense
  16. 16. Lunsford and Lunsford • What are the implications for writing center work? • What are the implications for attention to language diversity?
  17. 17. Language Diversity: Victoria Osgood • She reviews the work of Peter Elbow, Geneva Smitherman, Lisa Delpit, Erica Lindemann, Stephen Parks to argue for a both/and position: a position that values students’ dialects and also helps them gain facility in SWE. • What are the benefits of this position? • How might it be more complicated than Osgood notes?
  18. 18. In class exercise- to be finished on the blog for homework. • Review Victoria Osgood’s essay. Note where you agree and disagree with her. • Write about a paragraph of feedback for Osgood. Where might she improve her argument? • Discuss Osgood with your group members. How do your positions on language variety compare? In what ways is your feedback similar? How does it differ? • What lessons can you apply when your write your research paper?
  19. 19. What is at stake? Language loss.
  20. 20. What else is at stake?
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