The Texts within the Context: Examining the Influence of Contextual Documents on Students’ Interpretations of Teachers’ Written Feedback

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Bruce Bowles

Abstract

In spite of a host of scholarship pertaining to response and the contexts that surround our response practices, limited attention has been paid to how everyday classroom texts may inform students’ interpretations of teachers’ written feedback to their writing. This article examines the results from modified case studies of six students across two first-year composition classrooms, exploring how they drew upon three types of contextual factors—assignment description/texts, student/teacher conferences, and grading materials—in order to articulate their interpretations of their teachers’ written feedback. The roles each of these contextual factors plays in students’ interpretations of their teachers’ written commentary are investigated along with discussions of how these various classroom texts work reciprocally with one another and in conjunction with teachers’ overall pedagogical practices. This articles argues for greater attention to these classroom texts in response scholarship and practice along with advocating an approach to response that views these contextual factors and written feedback in a more pedagogically integrated fashion. The article concludes by advocating for the creation of cohesive narratives about writing across the texts teachers create in their classrooms and the written commentary they provide students.

Article Details

How to Cite
Bowles, B. (2020). The Texts within the Context: Examining the Influence of Contextual Documents on Students’ Interpretations of Teachers’ Written Feedback. Journal of Response to Writing, 6(1). Retrieved from https://journalrw.org/index.php/jrw/article/view/161
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Author Biography

Bruce Bowles, Texas A&M University - Central Texas

Assistant Professor of English

Director of the University Writing Center

Texas A&M University - Central Texas