Written Comments

The teacher’s written comments on students’ writing can bring about very positive and constructive results. Since students place a great deal of weight on the teacher’s responses, the written comment should be brief, clear, and they should be phrased to encourage further development.

Comments should deal with specific aspects of writing that have been emphasized in class prior to the assessment. “Throwing out a big net” and catching all the mistakes is certain to further demoralize students who have serious writing problems and who are already reluctant to write. Give your students time to develop writing capabilities by concentrating on one or two at a time and by building on these as the year or semester passes.

Teachers’ comments can be positive or negative. They also can be constructive and non-constructive. Teachers should strive to use comments that are both constructive and positive.

Sample comments are below.

Positive and Constructive

  • After reading your recipe, I think that I could cook ___________ too. You have put all the steps in the correct order for me.
  • Your phrases _____________ and _____________ helped me “feel” just how cold you were during your first night alone in the woods. Comparisons like these are what good writers often use to describe clearly.
  • Your argument is well developed. I found myself agreeing with you.
Positive but Non-constructive
  • Well done!!!
  • G O O D
  • Good effort
  • An excellent story.
  • Your work is improving.
  • Great!
  • Nice poem.
Negative but Constructive
  • You have five spelling mistakes in the first paragraph. Find them and correct them.
  • You have many run-on sentences in this draft. Try rewriting these in your final daft by using shorter sentences.
  • Your words are too close together. Leave spaces between them.
  • There are far too many words that need a capital letter in your work. Make sure that you use capitals for names like “Cathy.”
Negative and Non-constructive
  • Poor effort!
  • Careless work.
  • Do this over.
  • Your spelling in this draft is not up to your usual high standard.

Effective written comments can go a long way towards helping students improve their work. I'll post some links below to grade specific resources you can use in your classroom today!

Use the Written Comments with Portfolios:

Use the Written Comments with Personal StudentBOOKS:

    May 14, 2015 by Patrick Lashmar
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