Faculty Development & Learning Assessment

Time-Saving Strategies for Evaluating Student Writing


Praise students for what they have done well. Pointing out strengths is more effective than pointing out weaknesses. Hillocks notes the “great deal of evidence that teacher comments in and of themselves have no effect on student writing except when they are focused on how well the students have accomplished the main point of the assignment and provide further feedback on matters which have already been taught and reinforced.”

Paul Deiderich concluded from his own research on teacher commentary and student motivation that “noticing and praising whatever a student does well improves writing more than any kind or amount of correction of what he/she does badly, and that is especially important for the less able writers who need all the encouragement they can get.”

Some suggestions for commenting on student writing include:

Adapted from: Jackson, R. (n.d.) Time-Saving Strategies for Evaluating Student Writing. Retrieved May 9, 2009, from Texas State University Resources for Teaching Web site: http://www.liberalarts.txstate.edu/faculty/resources-nominations/timesavingstrategies.html

Tip References

Additional Resources:

Anson, C., Schwiebert, J., & Williamson, M.M. (1993). Writing Across the Curriculum: An Annotated Bibliography. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Bean, J. (1996). Engaging Ideas: The Professor’s Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Duke, C. and Sanchez, R. (2001). Assessing Writing Across the Curriculum. Durham: Carolina Academic Press.

Conference on College Composition and Communication. (2006). Writing Assessment: A Position Statement. Retrieved May 9, 2009, from National Council of Teachers of English Web site: http:/www.ncte.org/cccc/resources/positions/writingassessment

Daiker, D. (1989). Learning to Praise. In C. Anson (Ed.), Writing and Response: Theory, Practice and Research. Urbana, IL: NCTE.

Hartwell, P. (1987). Grammar, Grammars, and the Teaching of Grammar. In T. Enos (Ed.), A Sourcebook for Basic Writing Teachers (p. 348-372). New York, NY: Random House.