National Writing Project

Resource Topics

Teaching Writing - Responding to Writing

Featured Resources

Book Review: The Book Club Companion: Fostering Strategic Readers in the Secondary Classroom, by Cindy O’Donnell-Allen

March 2009
Jamie Heans
Jamie Heans reviews Cindy O'Donnell-Allen's The Book Club Companion: Fostering Strategic Readers in the Secondary Classroom, whose "book club" approach he has used to enliven and transform his classes' reading experience. More ›

Book Review: Teachers’ Writing Groups: Collaborative Inquiry and Reflection for Professional Growth

March 2009
Caroline Griswold
Caroline Griswold reviews Teachers’ Writing Groups: Collaborative Inquiry and Reflection for Professional Growth, finding that it is, like the best writing project work, both practical and personal, and is full of useful ideas for teachers interested in exploring writing groups. More ›

Purposeful Writing: Genre Study in the Secondary Writing Workshop

January 2009
NWP's For Your Bookshelf audio series talks to Tracy Rosewarne and Rebecca Sipe of the Eastern Michigan Writing Project about their book Purposeful Writing: Genre Study in the Secondary Writing Workshop. More ›

 

Additional Resources

Figment Provides Space for Students to Share Writing

September 2011
Katie Robbins, director of educational programming at Figment, an online community where young adults and teens come together to create, discover, and share their own writing and discuss their favorite works, discusses how Figment can be used in the classroom. More ›

The Concept Of A Writing Center

June 2011
Writing centers exist in a variety of shapes, sizes, and settings, but they share many of the same approaches. Typically they are part of a writing program or learning center and serve the entire school, both at the secondary and college levels. More ›

Writing Center Resources

June 2011
This collection of NWP articles introduces readers interested in the core issues and possibilities of developing student-staffed writing centers. More ›

Book Review: Noise from the Writing Center

November 2010
Cindy Dean
Cindy Dean, University of Maine Writing Project teacher-consultant and director of a high school writing center, reflects on Elizabeth Boquet's theory of "writing center noise" and its applicability to high school writing centers. More ›

Thank You for Sharing: Developing Students' Social Skills to Improve Peer Writing Conferences

October 2010
Keri Franklin
Keri Franklin advances the ideas that "social talk" in a peer conference, modeling of negative conferencing habits, and appreciative, but uncritical, listening are all ways to work students toward successful conferencing skills. More ›

Writing Centers: More Than Remediation

May 2010
Art Peterson
Jennifer Wells, a teacher-consultant with the Central California Writing Project, writes about the establishment of a writing center at her high school and advises educators on how to create writing centers that are hubs of writing for writers of all levels. More ›

E-Anthology Feedback Inspires Classroom Practice

January 2010
Lisa Bottone
Lisa Bottone, a teacher-consultant with New Jersey's Kean University Writing Project, reflects on how sharing her writing and receiving feedback through the E-Anthology has influenced her teaching. She plans to use the experience in her work with colleagues. More ›

Book Review: Grammar to Enrich and Enhance Writing, by Constance Weaver

June 2009
H.K. Hummel
Constance Weaver advocates less fixing of mistakes in writing, more minilessons to clarify grammatical concepts, less grammar drill in isolation, and more skill building in the context of writing. More ›

Praising, Questioning, Wishing: An Approach to Responding to Writing

May 2009
Brian Slusher
Responding to another's writing is always a challenging task. As a member of the E-Team behind NWP's E-Anthology, Brian Slusher discovered an effective response strategy: Praise, Question, and Wish. More ›

One Approach to Guiding Peer Response

March 2009
Kim Jaxon
Kim Jaxon, a teacher-consultant with the Northern California Writing Project, describes a peer response strategy that, in addition to providing responders with focused guiding questions, allows them adequate time to draft thoughtful responses. More ›

Elbow Room: Tweaking Response in the Secondary Classroom

The Quarterly, 2005
Anne Marie Liebel
Astonished by her eleventh-grade students' enthusiastic response when she asks them to help her revise a piece of her own writing, Ann Marie Liebel began implementing response groups, a technique described by Peter Elbow in his book Writing Without Teachers. Here she gives a detailed description of how she adjusted Elbow's methods to fit her high school and college freshman classes and offers trouble-shooting tips for other teachers. More ›

Finding the Black Ninja Fish: Revision and Writing Groups in the First Grade

The Quarterly, 2005
Joanna Franklin
Joanna Franklin lays out the instructional sequence she implements in her first grade class to teach revision. She begins in September with rereading, advances through Authors Chair and the creation of a class set of criteria for excellent writing, and by March has her students successfully working in writing groups and revising their writing. More ›

Book Review: Response to Student Writing, by Dana R. Ferris

The Quarterly, 2004
Gabriela Segade
Segade reviews Dana R. Ferris's Response to Student Writing, which surveys the research on teacher response to second-language writing and discusses how the findings translate into classroom principles and practices. More ›

Peer Review Times Two

The Quarterly, 2004
Denise Marchionda
Noting that the classroom logistics of peer response to writing can get dicey, Denise Marchionda developed a two-peer editing strategy for her college composition class. She describes her system in detail and shares the checklist she created to elicit productive discussion between the writer and reviewers. She explains the advantages of two-peer editing over teacher-only reading, single-peer editing, and group-response editing, and cites articles for further reading. More ›

The Best Way to Teach Good Writing Is One Step at a Time

The Quarterly, 2004
Randy Koch
Randy Koch, director of the Writing Center at Texas A&M International University, shares some of what he's learned about revisions strategies after twelve years of teaching writing. In this article, he recounts ways to prod students into adding rich details to their drafts. More ›

Thirty Minutes with Mikal

The Quarterly, 2004
Beverly Alsleben
Beverly Alsleben encounters many misunderstandings and miscues as she works with Mikal, an adult English language learner. Alsleben makes suggestions for bridging some common cultural differences that arise between teachers and new immigrants. More ›

Where Writing Really Begins

The Quarterly, 2004
Randy Koch
Responding to students' writing, Randy Koch notes, is the most time-consuming and important part of a writing teacher's job. A teacher must do more than mark up students' errors if the students' writing is to improve. Grouping his thoughts under six guiding principles, Koch shares his approach to response: emphasizing students' strengths, clarifying what is expected in the next draft, laying some groundwork for revision, and taking into account students' readiness to apply the suggestions they receive. He gives examples of his commentaries on student essays. More ›

Reading Practices as Revision Strategies: The Gossipy Reading Model

The Quarterly, 2003
Peter Kittle
No one questions that revision is a good and necessary part of the writing process. But like many things that are "good for you," writers, especially young writers, resist making it part of their routines. But when a high school teacher adapts a reading strategy for revision, he stumbles upon the quintessential revision strategy: one that is both "good and good for you." More ›

Reflections on an Online Teachers Writing Group

The Quarterly, Winter 2003
Anne Elrod Whitney
A teacher describes the parallels and differences between her own experience in an online writing group and the experience she gives her student writing groups in her classroom. More ›

Working with Beginning Writers

The Quarterly, Summer 2001
Alisa Daniel
Daniel writes that students need to see their teachers write. They need to see the struggles and the thought processes that begin in the writer's mind and end up on the paper. More ›

Book Review: Winning Ways of Coaching Writing

The Quarterly, winter 2001
Jim Addison
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Book Review: Across Property Lines: Textual Ownership in Writing Groups, by Candace Spigelman

The Quarterly, Fall 2000
Jane Mikoni
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On Coaching the Writer

The Quarterly, Spring 2000
Jon Appleby
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Behind Their Backs: Proximity and Insult in Student Response

The Quarterly, Winter 2000
Roger Green
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Spotlighting Excellence

The Quarterly, Winter 1999
Denise Amos
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When Correcting Errors in a Mistake

The Voice, Fall 1998
Adair Lara
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Pruning Too Early: The Thorny Issue of Grading Student Writing

The Quarterly, Fall 1997
Stephanie Wilder
Wilder creates an analogy comparing cutting back a garden as it is in the process of maturing to grading a student paper while it is still evolving and in a revisable state. More ›

How to Practically Guarantee Poor Student Writing—Without Even Trying

The Quarterly, Spring 1996
Diane Christian Boehm
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OP 40. Revealing the Teacher-as-Reader: A Framework for Discussion and Learning

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Occasional Paper, 1995
Melanie Sperling
Sperling offers a framework for thinking about the perspective that teachers bring to reading students' writing, identifying five ways that one teacher reader oriented herself to her student writers and their writing. More ›

The Cheating Disorder

The Quarterly, Summer 1995
Richard Murphy
In this excerpt from The Calculus of Intimacy, Bay Area Writing Project Fellow Richard Murphy's inspiring account of his life as a college teacher of writing, Murphy takes a candid look at cheating. He describes two encounters he had with students he suspected of plagiarism, which led him to question his own ability to trust his students. More ›

Revisited article: Tennis Anyone? Or Whose Paper Is It?

The Quarterly, Winter 1995
Jim Hahn
In 1980 Jim Hahn of the Bay Area Writing Project, stopped "fixing" student papers in his English classes and revised his teaching methods to make the students more responsible for their own work. In this 1985 article he presents his rationale for this change. More ›

Our Writing, Ourselves: Portrait of a Writing Group

The Quarterly, Winter 1994
Joan Cotich, Deborah Dixon, Lorrie Nelson, Aline Shapiro, Beth Yeager
In this reflection of a writing project writing group, a diverse group of five women educator/writers who teach at different levels from first grade through college, describe their activities and experiences as they explore the question, "What makes our group work?" Joan Cotich, Deborah Dixon, Lorrie Nelson, Aline Shapiro, and Beth Yeager share their individual and group processes, giving numerous examples of their writing exercises and their writing. More ›

OP 26. High School English and the Teacher-Student Writing Conference: Fine-Tuned Duets in the Ensemble of the Classroom

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Occasional Paper, 1991
Melanie Sperling
Sperling examines some of the teacher-student conferences in an urban ninth grade English classroom and concludes that teachers' brief conversations with individual students can play an important role in writing instruction. More ›

TR 48. Dialogues of Deliberation: Conversation in the Teacher-Student Writing Conference

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, 1991
Melanie Sperling
Sperling focuses on three students in a ninth grade English class as they converse individually with their teacher about their ongoing writing. She examines how such conversations contribute to the process of learning to write. More ›

Khasru's English Lesson: Ethnocentricity and Response to Student Writing

The Quarterly, Winter 1990
Alex Moore
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Book Review: Sharing Writing: Peer Response Groups in English Classes, by Karen Spear

The Quarterly, January 1989
John R. Maitino
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TR 37. I want to Talk to Each of You: Collaboration and the Teacher-Student Writing Conference

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, October 1989
Melanie Sperling
Sperling examines teacher-student writing conferences in a ninth grade English class for six case-study students, showing how collaboration between teacher and student encourages students' learning as writers. More ›

The Response Factor

The Quarterly, Summer 1989
Kate Chapman
Chapman evaluates the letter exchange her English students engaged in with their American counterparts as one which developed confidence. "[T]hey found encouragement and acceptance . . . a far cry from the usual red ink." More ›

Dr. Faustus, Rodent-Envy, and the Two Party Weekend

The Quarterly, January 1987
Susan McLester
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TR 03. A Good Girl Writes Like a Good Girl: Written Response and Clues to the Teaching/Learning Process

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, May 1987
Sarah Warshauer Freedman, Melanie Sperling
The authors present a case study of a high-achieving student in a ninth-grade English class, exploring and analyzing sources of the student's misunderstanding of teacher-written response to her writing. More ›

TR 12. Peer Response Groups in Two Ninth-Grade Classrooms

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, October 1987
Sarah Warshauer Freedman
Freedman looks at peer response groups in two ninth-grade college preparatory classrooms, analyzing how students' face-to-face interactions reveal how they approach their writing processes. More ›

TR 04. Historical Overview: Groups in the Writing Classroom

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report, September 1987
Anne DiPardo, Sarah Warshauer Freedman
The authors review research on peer groups in the writing class. They discuss the role of groups in the collaborative process of language learning and suggest directions for future research on collaborative learning. More ›

Shaping the Editing Group

The Quarterly, March 1986
Lenore Carroll
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From Theory to Practice: Responding to Student Writing

The Quarterly, April 1985
Faye Peitzman
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Teacher Comments in the Revision Process

The Quarterly, February 1984
G.E. Martin
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Responding to Student Writing

The Quarterly, June 1981
Nancy Sommers
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Students' Reactions to Teachers' Writting Comments

The Quarterly, November 1981
Jim Hahn
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What Students Know and What They Write: Ways to Focus a Writing Conference

The Quarterly, November 1981
Judith A. Langer
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