Saving time

Responding to and/or evaluating student writing need not take a great deal of your time.

  • Provide most of your feedback informally as students plan and write, then evaluate the final product quickly.
  • Having conferences with students saves you time and can increase clarity, as they can ask you questions. You can hold quick in-class conferences while students work individually or in groups.
  • Build in other readers before you. Have students receive feedback from their peers; recommend or require that they attend the Writing Center.
  • Not all writing has to be long. Rather than assigning one very long paper, assign several short ones or have them write a series of drafts, of which you read only one. Rather than only requiring "formal" writing, have them do more informal writing which may be used in class, or collected at random.
  • Don't read everything you have your students write. Collect, read and grade their writing randomly.
  • Prioritize. Decide what is most important to you in each assignment (Format? Clarity? Demonstration of knowledge? Audience awareness? Spelling?) and evaluate based on your top priorities.
  • Don't evaluate or comment on everything in a paper; focus your evaluation on two or three aspects that are most important to you (and that you identified as being most important in making the assignment).
  • Don't correct students' errors for them. Point out the most significant shortcomings in the paper (based on your priorities) briefly, then require that they make the corrections.