Feedback for Adolescent Writers in the English Classroom

Exploring Pen-and-Paper, Electronic, and Automated Options


  • Paige Ware Southern Methodist University



Secondary Feedback, Automated Evaluation, Revising


This study examined the impact of different forms of feedback on the writing of a group of 82 adolescent students in secondary English classes. During a 6-week intervention, students were randomly assigned to one of three feedback groups: peer feedback on pen-and-paper drafts, teacher feedback delivered electronically through a course management system, and automated feedback generated through computer-based writing evaluation software. Pre- and post-measures of student writing quality, length, and correctness were analyzed, and survey data explored student perceptions of their experiences. Findings indicate that all students, regardless of which form of feedback they received, wrote longer essays and scored higher on holistic ratings at post test than they did at pretest. Neither language status nor group assignment had a greater or lesser impact on performance on length or holistic quality. However, differences between feedback groups spiked on the proximal measure that examined mastery of particular aspects of the genre being taught. Both peer feedback and teacher feedback delivered electronically had a statistically significant impact on student performance in the genre of open-ended response. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of these findings for future research and instruction in the secondary context.

Author Biography

Paige Ware, Southern Methodist University

Paige Ware is an associate professor of Education at Southern Methodist University. Her research focuses on the use of multimedia technologies for fostering language and literacy growth among adolescents, as well as on the use of Internet-based communication for promoting intercultural awareness through international and domestic online language and culture partnerships. Her research has been funded by a National Academy of Education/Spencer Post-Doctoral Fellowship, by the International Research Foundation for English Language Education (TIRF), and by the Ford Scholars program at SMU. She was also the principal investigator of a Department of Education Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) professional development grant supporting secondary school educators in obtaining their ESL supplemental certification.


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How to Cite

Ware, P. (2014). Feedback for Adolescent Writers in the English Classroom: Exploring Pen-and-Paper, Electronic, and Automated Options. Writing and Pedagogy, 6(2), 223–249.



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