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Contextualizing Teachers' Responses to Writing in the College Classroom


by Paul Prior — 1998

The research on response has identified three key communicative problems. First, teachers' interpretations of students' texts are often problematic. These interpretations are based on students' texts that may not communicate well. They are often grounded in knowledge, beliefs, and values that students do not share, and they are produced through reading practices that are often less than optimal. Second, teachers' responses to students' texts often do not communicate effectively to students what the teacher believes they have done well, what they have done poorly, how the text might be revised, or, for that matter, what they have done at all. Third, teachers' responses appear to be problematic because their negative focus and tone convey too effectively to many students that their writing is bad—a message that seems to discourage rather than encourage further engagement and growth in writing ability.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 97, No. 2.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 99 Number 6, 1998, p. 153-177
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18738, Date Accessed: 12/16/2017 2:08:17 AM

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About the Author
  • Paul Prior
    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
    E-mail Author
    PAUL PRIOR is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he is Acting Director of the Division of Rhetoric. He is also Director of the Graduate Student Writing-Across-the-Curriculum Programs in the Center for Writing Studies.
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