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CTE - Teaching Writing

This guide provides resources and best practices on teaching writing, creating writing prompts and rubrics, and providing feedback on student writing.

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When providing feedback on student writing, you will want to address higher- and lower-order concerns.


Higher-order concerns are concerns with the presentation of the information:  


  Clear focus or thesis 

  Attention to audience, purpose, and writing situation 

  Logical paragraph and essay structure 

  Support / evidence for the information 

Logical conclusions based on evidence and analysis 


Often, these concerns will be heavily weighted on your rubric because these areas represent the content, structure, and organization of the information.  As such, you will want to make sure that your feedback in these areas is thorough, especially in the final comment.   


Lower-order concerns are issues with the readability of the information:  


 Grammar and punctuation 

 Sentence structure and parallelism  

 Clarity and conciseness of language 

 Editing, proofreading, and spell-checking errors 

Unless you are grading specifically for delivery, syntax, and diction, these concerns will be less heavily weighted on your rubric.  In terms of feedback for these areas, it's important to make specific, and succinct notes in the margins to draw attention to the issue.  
To help visualize this process, review this example student essay with professor comments:
Additional Resources


Bean, J. C. (2011). Engaging ideas: The professor's guide to integrating writing, critical thinking, and active learning in the classroom. 2nd ed. Jossey-Bass. 


Responding to student writing--principles and practices. (2016). Center for Research on Learning and Teaching.  University of Michigan.  


Sommers, N. (2013). Responding to student writers. Bedford/St. Martin's.