I must sound like a broken record player at this point, but I never knew there were so many ways to respond to student writing.

Per the norm, it wasn’t until I got to at least second-level college classes that I started to notice the concept of personalization. Some personalization existed in Adult Education, sure, but it was mostly “this is what is right and wrong in the context of your paper.” Rarely was my feedback related to interpretation, my method of reading, or anything outside the purview of the assignment’s guidelines.

Even in college, however, the form of response was rarely anything discussed in the chapter. Helping Circles, Editorials Boards, Holistic Ratings were never part of peer-to-peer feedback systems. Partners, sure, but never anything more exotic than that; perhaps at the college level this is expected but feedback here always took the form, for the most part, of individualized sessions. This was great, obviously, but if it wasn’t these sessions than it was a “Compliment Sandwich” deal where feedback on the final version of an essay had some good, bad, and ways to improve as the professor remarked on what did and didn’t work in a paper.

As for the actual tips to respond to student writing, nothing in the chapter surprised me. Be supportive, avoid grading schemes and overly harsh criticism, expect growth and respond accordingly. Okay. Fine.

What I did find intriguing, though, was how Writer Workshops could function. The example of Firework Writers and Burnout Writers groups was the fun but natural extension of the workshop concept. Workshops are something I find tedious, for the most part, but giving them a theme or imputes behind the type of student, that is different but needed.

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