Monday, April 12, 2010
Sommers Article: "Responding to Student Writing"
Sommers raises some interesting points about commenting on students' drafts. I really liked the point that Sommers said about the reason behind teacher commenting. She states that the comments are not so that the teachers can feel as though he or she has done their job, but rather for the students to benefit from. Sommers says that commenting is important because it lets us know when we as writers have effectively communicated our thoughts and have had shared meaning with our readers. I never have thought about editing in this way. In this sense, it helps the writer develop even more control over his or her writing because it is letting the writer know what areas are unclear and need some work. As writers, we sometimes focus in on why a teacher commented on something, instead of the big picture- which is our purpose in writing the paper. I think that the best way to review a paper is to do it face to face and conference with a teacher. This way, comments can be specified (another weakness of teacher revisions that Sommers picks out). Face to face a student and a teacher can develop more shared meaning and weaknesses in the paper can be more clearly pointed out. A brief comment on a paper is difficult to work with when editing. As Sommers also states, many teacher comments are universal and too vague. They can be stamped on just about any paper and are not specific or clear. What do you think is a good solution to the problems that Sommers brings up?