Date of Award

5-1-2010

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

English

First Advisor

McClure, Lisa

Abstract

AN ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS OF BENJAMIN M. ERWIN, for the Masters of Arts degree in Rhetoric and Composition, presented on December 18th, 2009 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. TITLE: WHAT YOU SAY AND WHERE YOU SAY IT: AN EXAMINATION OF INSTRUCTOR END COMMENTS AND STUDENT REVISION IN FRESHMAN COMPOSITION MAJOR PROFESSOR: LISA J. MCCLURE The relationship between instructor commentary and student revision is not a new issue, but the majority of this existing scholarship focuses on marginal feedback while largely ignoring the possible influence of end comments. The purpose of my study was to examine the types of remarks within endnotes alongside the revisions made by a pair of English 101 students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. The participants in my study were English 101 instructors and students. By studying the comments of composition instructors as well as the revisions of a pair of SIUC students, this study presents evidence that suggests students revise and edit as the result of remarks within end comments. However, various types of remarks seemed to result in different types of revisions from these two students. Based on the instructor endnotes and the revisions provided by the two case study students, lower-order concerns are most commonly addressed in the revision process in the form of individual editing changes. Changes made in response to lower-order remarks do not generally affect the content of the text. Questions and references to higher-order concerns within end comments seemed to yield content-specific changes from both students. Given the low number of participants involved in my study, these results do not provide sufficient evidence to make specific claims regarding the influence of end comments for all students; however, endnotes seemed to foster revision when feedback is given on early drafts and when remarks clearly address content-specific aspects of a student's text.

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