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This study explores students’ response to direct written corrective feedback (WCF) in first-year composition courses. To that end, it focuses on analyzing students’ engagement with direct feedback and meta-awareness of the corrections provided on one of their drafts. Data include students' revisions recorded with screen capture software and the video-stimulated recall, which was transcribed and coded for evidence of engagement and meta-awareness. The findings of the study indicate that students’ engagement and meta-awareness may be affected by pedagogical factors, such as feedback delivery method. Based on the insights gained from this study, I suggest that direct feedback may be more beneficial if it is provided in a comment or in the margin of the paper, and that it may have a higher potential for learning if a brief explanation about the nature of the error is included. In addition, students may need to be provided with guidelines on how to engage with their instructors' feedback. I conclude by suggesting that if direct WCF is provided, students should be held accountable for learning from the feedback, and I recommend ways in which this can be done without penalizing students for not showing immediate improvements on subsequent writing projects.
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