Thesis Title

Moving Beyond Theory To Practice: Workshopping 101: A Program For Your Classroom

Date of Graduation

Summer 2001


Master of Arts in English



Committee Chair

Margaret Weaver

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature


This thesis investigates both theoretical foundations and practical applications for peer response in the composition classroom. A thorough review of the literature reveals that most theorists and practitioners who have written on the subject tend to champion one particular method. No single source discusses the diversity of choices available, so when teachers rely on one recognized source and workshops fail, teachers tend to assume that the fault lies with them, rather than the method. To illustrate that fact, I describe my own experiences, both positive and negative, with peer response using suggestions given by well-known practitioners. I illustrate how different choices can affect the atmosphere and effectiveness of peer response. As I experimented with various factors, I realized that I needed to choose differently than some of the authors I'd read, depending on the particular group of students. From the discoveries, I created a handbook entitled "Workshopping 101" with the goal of showing teachers the myriad ways peer response groups can be structured in an easy-to-use format. I conclude by offering the manifestation of that goal-the evolution of my workshopping program.


© Melanie Hoftyzer