Vol 1 No 1 (2015)

Published: 2015-03-02

Editorial Section

A Catalytic Event for Response Research? Introducing Our New Journal

Dana R Ferris

This article explains early events leading to the creation of this journal, sets forth its purposes and organization, and provides some direction for author contributions. It also introduces the first issue.

The Journal of Response to Writing: A Response to a Professional Need

K. James Hartshorn, Norman W. Evans

This report describes the need for an additional venue for publishing quality scholarship focused on response to writing based on results from a survey of more than 500 first-, second-, and foreign-language writing professionals.

Featured Articles

The Role of Individual Differences in L2 Learners' Retention of Written Corrective Feedback

Mohammad Rahimi

The present study aims to investigate the extent to which L2 learners’ individual differences (field dependency and writing motivation) predict their retention of a teacher’s written corrective feedback (CF) in the short and in the long run. Using Ellis’s (2010) theoretical framework, the study examines the issue from cognitive and affective perspectives. Data was collected from 127 intermediate-level university students through written essays, a field-dependence/independence (FDI) questionnaire, and a writing motivation questionnaire, which were analyzed through t test, ANOVA, and multiple regression. The results reveal that there is a strong relationship between field independence (FI) style and the students’ successful short-term and long-term retention of corrections in the subsequent writings. Writing motivation, however, influences the short-term retention of CF only.

“I Don’t Understand What You’re Saying!”: Lessons from Three ESL Writing Tutorials

Eun Young Julia Kim

This article presents three case studies that closely examine various types of inter-actions taking place in writing center tutorials involving newly arrived pre-ma-triculated ESL writers. By learning what strategies tutors commonly use and how successfully the ESL writers negotiate their goals for the visit and the form and meaning of their text through this sample, this study aims to help identify what characterizes successful tutorials and what unique challenges English language learners might face when interacting with tutors. Results from these case studies show that it is not how many corrections tutors make or suggest for the students’ papers, but how much the tutors engage their tutees in a meaningful dialogue that brings satisfaction to the ESL students. Findings also suggest that deliber-ate efforts should be made to equip ESL writers with necessary metalanguage to communicate their goals for their visit.

Teaching Articles

Commenting Across the Disciplines: Partnering with Writing Centers to Train Faculty to Respond Effectively to Student Writing

Andrea Scott

Faculty and writing center tutors bring expertise to writing as practice and pro-cess. Yet at many institutions, the two groups work in relative isolation, missing opportunities to learn from each other. In this article, I describe a faculty de-velopment initiative in a multidisciplinary writing program that brings together new faculty and experienced undergraduate tutors to workshop instructors’ com-ments on first-year writing. The purpose of these workshops is to assist faculty in crafting inquiry-driven written responses that pave the way for collaborative faculty-student conferences. By bringing together scholarly conversations on tu-tor expertise and the role of faculty comments in student learning, I argue for the value of extending partnerships between writing centers and programs. Such ac-counts are important to the field for challenging what Grutsch McKinney (2013) calls the “writing center grand narrative,” which limits the scope of writing center work by imagining centers primarily as “comfortable, iconoclastic places where all students go to get one-to-one tutoring on their writing” to the exclusion of lived realities (p. 3). In this case, I describe a writing center where tutors bring their expertise outside the center and into the faculty office, consulting in small groups with faculty with the aim of enriching the quality of instructor feedback in first-year seminars.

Book Reviews

Review of Responding to Student Writers by Nancy Sommers

Lauren Jennifer Kelly

This text reviews Nancy Sommers' Responding to Student Writers, a slim, conversational handbook for teachers interested in improving their written commentary to students. An overview of the book's six chapters and their main aims as well as the strengths and limitations of the work are discussed.