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How do we writing teachers respond to our students’ writing? How does our response affect both us and the students? Is it irresponsible to mark only a few recurring errors? Or is irresponsible to mark every error? Do students learn better when the errors are labeled or not? What about positive feedback?

This thesis explains an action research project I conducted with my reading/writing students. In the project, I explored many methods of responding to student writing, and I documented how one of those techniques affected me and my students. That technique called the reduced grammar technique focuses on recurring errors. I employed the reduced grammar technique to respond to students’ writing in three process writing assignments. Four students were chosen to represent the higher and lower level students in my class, and all of those students found the technique helpful. While I found it limiting, I learned some important lessons, which are explained in chapter four.


Curriculum and Instruction | Rhetoric and Composition