Split Personalities: Understanding the Responder Identity in College Composition

Main Article Content

Anthony Edward Edgington


For decades, researchers and teacher in composition have wrestled with how to respond to student writing.  Part of this discussion has focused on what role teachers should assume when reading and responding to texts.  From these discussions, different roles have emerged, including the gatekeeper, the critic, the facilitator, the coach, and the judge, among others.  While some have argued that the use of response identities helps teachers focus their responses while offering students an audience for their texts, others are more wary of what influence these roles may have on the student-teacher relationship and teacher comments.


This article explores the history of response identities, including research on both the positive and negative outcomes from their use.  It then offers a new perspective of response as an intellectual endeavor, emphasizing both the labor that goes into response along with the rewards that both students and teachers can receive from the process.  Ideas of how to move toward this view of response are offered.

Article Details

How to Cite
Edgington, A. (2016). Split Personalities: Understanding the Responder Identity in College Composition. Journal of Response to Writing, 2(1). Retrieved from https://journalrw.org/index.php/jrw/article/view/40
Teaching Articles
Author Biography

Anthony Edward Edgington, University of Toledo

Associate Professor

Director of the Composition Program