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Responding & grading

image of men in greenhouseCommenting on and grading student writing are among the most direct (and therefore valuable) elements of writing instruction. These two activities are also chief among the concerns voiced by faculty members and other instructors, who may feel under-qualified to diagnose and evaluate written strengths and weaknesses.

In this section, you’ll find paradigms for effectively and efficiently responding to student writing, as well as multiple approaches to grading and evaluation.

Approaches to response

Teacher to student

Commenting on Student Writing

Responding to Student Writing (University of Hawaii, Mānoa)

Why Respond to Student Writing Online?

Prioritizing Responses to Student Writing (TWW Tip, February 2013)

Responding for Revision (TWW Tip, November 2013)

Responding to Non-Native Speakers of English

Working with Non-Native Speakers (directed towards writing consultants, but useful to others)

Quick Suggestions for Helping Non-Native Writers

Writing Resources for Instructors Working with Multilingual Students (UMN Writing for International Students)

Resources for Supporting Multilingual Learners UMN College of Continuing Education

Valuing Written Accents: Non-native Students Talk about Identity, Academic Writing, and Meeting Teachers’ Expectations (George Mason University)

Working With ESL/ELL Students (George Mason University)

Student to student

Creating Effective Peer Response Workshops

How Can I Get the Most Out of Peer Review? (The WAC Clearinghouse, Colorado State)

Using Peer Review to Improve Student Writing (University of Michigan)

Peer Review (University of Hawaii, Mānoa)

Peer Review & Feedback Forms (University of Hawaii, Mānoa)

Arranging Virtual Peer Response (TWW Tip, January 2014)

Student to self

Assigning Revision Memos

Metacognition—Cultivating Reflection to Help Students Become Self-Directed Learners (University of Michigan)

Approaches to grading

Grading Writing: Recommended Grading Strategies

Creating Grading Rubrics for Writing Assignments

Backward Design for Grading Rubrics (TWW Tip, February 2014)

Grading End-of-Semester Papers/Projects (TWW Tip, May 2013)

Running a Grade-Norming Session

The Critical and Integrative Thinking Rubric (Washington State University)

Managing the Paper Load (George Mason University)

Annotated University of Minnesota Uniform Grading Definitions

University-Wide Grading Guidelines (University Policy on Grading)

Samples of responding activities & handouts

Geography 1301 | Project Self-Evaluations:
Self-evaluation for a research project and a debate.

History 1307 | Paper-Writing Checklist:
Self-assessment guidelines for revising and proofreading.

English 3006W | Peer Workshop for Final Paper:
Handout asking students to assess where they need peer help.

Samples of grading activities & tools

Biology 1002 | Lab Report Grading Rubric for Biological Sciences:
Criteria including thoroughness, support, accuracy, and writing.

Civil Engineering 4101W | Contract Grading Rubric:
Contract rules for students' course grades.

Writing Studies 1011 | Sample Portfolio Rubric:
Author-centered summary assignment.

English 201 | Holistic Portfolio for Final Evaluation:
Tool for differentiating individual and peer work assessment.

English 3601 | Grading Rubric for Notebook: Informal Writing:
Tool for assessing students' informal writing.

Geography 1301 | Project Grading Criteria:
Criteria for a thesis-driven essay assignment.

Operations and Management Science 3001 | Course and Paper Rubrics:
Criteria for the entire course and analytical papers.


... for teaching
Schedule individual consultations and attend our workshops and seminars.

... for student writers
Students can find out about one-to-one consultations and download handouts about style & grammar, punctuation, the writing process, and documentation.