The Writing Center @ The University of Wisconsin - Madison
Feedback on Student Writing

Questioning Assumptions: What Makes for Effective Feedback on Student Writing?

Teaching Academy Fall Kickoff
University of Wisconsin-Madison
October 4, 2013

Brad Hughes
Director, The Writing Center
Director, Writing Across the Curriculum
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Selected Research about Feedback on Student Writing

  • Anson, Chris M., Deanna P. Dannels, Pamela Flash, Amy L. Housley Gaffney. "Big Rubrics and Weird Genres: The Futility of Using Generic Assessment Tools Across Diverse Instructional Contexts." Journal of Writing Assessment 5 (2012). Web.

  • Patton, Martha Davis, and Summer Smith Taylor. "Re-evaluating Directive Commentary in an Engineering Activity System" ATD [Across the Disciplines] 10. Web.
    (See Patton and Taylor's list of references for further reading about research on faculty responses to student writing.)

  • Sommers, Nancy. "Responding to Student Writing." College Composition and Communication 33.2 (1982): 148-156. Print.

  • Straub, Richard, and Ronald F. Lunsford. 12 Readers Reading: Responding to College Student Writing. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton P, 1995. Print.

Advice for Faculty and TAs About Giving Feedback on Student Writing

  • Bean, John C. Engaging ideas: A Professor's Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom. 2nded. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2011. Print.

  • Harvard Writing Project Bulletin: Responding to Student Writing. 2000. Web. Link to PDF

  • Hedengren, Beth Finch. A TA's Guide to Teaching Writing in All Disciplines. New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2004.

UW-Madison Writing Center Workshops for Faculty and TAs

Writing Across the Curriculum Faculty Sourcebook

If you teach at UW-Madison and would like to have a copy of the WAC Faculty Sourcebook, which includes sample assignments and advice about responding to and evaluating student writing, please send an email requesting a copy to Brad Hughes (, director of the Writing Center and of Writing Across the Curriculum.

The Learning Record