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Center for Teaching Excellence

  • Student Writing

Evaluating Writing


Research tells us that when students write frequently in a course, they learn more and feel more engaged with the material. Yet for instructors, knowing how to effectively respond to, and evaluate student papers can be a challenge: What's the difference between a "B" paper and a "C" paper? Should you correct every grammatical and stylistic problem? How important is the content of a paper versus the quality of the writing? This workshop session presents several strategies for effectively responding to student writing, drawn from current research and best practices in the field. Session participants have the opportunity to discuss examples of effective and ineffective feedback and to be coached on evaluating student essays.

About the Facilitators

Christy Friend, the Director of USC's Center for Teaching Excellence, is a Professor of English whose specialty areas include composition theory and pedagogy, rhetoric, and community literacy. She has worked in writing program administration at several institutions and most recently directed First-Year English at USC from 2008-2012. Christy has co-authored several writing textbooks, most recently, "Beyond Words: Cultural Texts for Reading and Writing" (3rd ed., 2012). 

Nicole Fisk has served as Associate Director of First-Year English since 2007. She specializes in 19th-century British Literature. She is highly involved in teaching freshmen the critical thinking, reading, and writing skills they'll need to be successful in college and beyond. She currently teaches a themed ENGL 101 course for Capstone Scholars based on Suzanne Collins' "The Hunger Games."

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