Vol 1 No 2 (2015)

Published: 2015-11-05

Editorial Section

Editor's Introduction

Dana R Ferris

This article introduces the second issue of Journal of Response to Writing.

Featured Articles

The Effects of Dynamic Written Corrective Feedback: A 30-Week Study

K. James Hartshorn, Norman W. Evans

This study addresses several challenges in written corrective feedback (WCF) research. First, scholars have expressed concerns that while studies of focused WCF may benefit some classrooms and may help advance second language acquisition theory, they may not represent ecologically valid methods where comprehensive feedback may be more appropriate. Second, many focused WCF studies only report on learner performance within a narrow list of linguistic features, making it impossible for others to determine any secondary benefits or detriments of the treatment. Finally, many research studies of WCF have been of limited duration, making it difficult to identify longer-term effects of various WCF methods. Therefore, this study is an attempt to address these issues by examining the effects of dynamic WCF over a 30-week period. In addition to analyzing linguistic accuracy, this study examined the effects of dynamic WCF on rhetorical appropriateness, fluency, complexity, and vocabulary development over a 30-week period. While improvements in linguistic accuracy were observed for the treatment group when compared to a control group, no other differences were found. Implications for pedagogy and future research are discussed.   

Teaching Articles

Revising by Numbers: Promoting Student Revision Through Accumulated Points

Mark McBeth

By revealing his own numerate inadequacies, this author describes a grading system where students accumulate points over a semester of assignment submissions and re-drafting.  He claims it offers students more autonomy in controlling their “earned” grade as well as incentivizes their investments in the revision process.  In contrast to the normative percentages approach to grading, this point accrual system not only gives students a less ambivalent form of grading but, also, moves them past surface-level revision and into rhetorical re-structuring.

Beyond “Giver-Receiver” Relationships: Facilitating an Interactive Revision Process

Elena Shvidko

Research has shown that in order to facilitate the development of students’ writing, teachers need to cultivate principles of effective feedback.  However, revision is a two-side process, and for the maximum effectiveness of this process, there should be more than just a “giver-receiver” relationship.  This teaching article describes a technique—Letter to the Reviewer—that facilitates a two-side collaboration between the teacher and the student.  A Letter to the Reviewer is a memo that students attach to each draft, in which they provide a short reflective note to their reviewer and ask for specific feedback on certain elements of the draft.  The technique was implemented in two first-year composition classes for multilingual writers, and the outcomes demonstrated that the letters facilitated students’ revising skills, increased their sense of agency and engagement, enabled the connection between the classroom and student writing, and helped students become more reflective and analytical writers.

Book Reviews