Date of Graduation

Spring 2009


Master of Arts in Writing



Committee Chair

Margaret Weaver


responding to student writing, instructor response to student writing, commentary, feedback, student drafts, student authority, teacher authority, authority conflicts, appropriation, scale of concerns, length, specificity, explicitness, directiveness, personality of student, proficiency of students, experience of students, adapting instructor response to students' personalities and proficiencies, ESL student writing, ESL students, non-native English-speaking students

Subject Categories

Creative Writing


This study investigates the relationships among the length and specificity of instructor comments, students' revisions, and students' personality types and proficiency or experience levels. The study utilizes a student survey with multiple open-ended questions, a brief open-ended note in which students explain the effect of instructor feedback on their revisions, and a textual analysis of students' rough drafts and revisions using instructor feedback. The study finds the following: the length of individual comments does not affect student revisions, but the total number of instructor comments does; a lack of specificity impedes effective revision, but instructors provide sufficiently specific feedback; and personality and proficiency impact both student revision and the ever-present danger of appropriation.


© James Eric Sentell

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