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Words of Wisdom

According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.

— Jerry Seinfeld

W and C courses must include graded writing; however, while many students are motivated to improve through grades, they also benefit from low-stakes writing, in which there is no grade or one that counts for very little. In fact, some researchers suggest that once a paper is graded, students have little desire or motivation to return to it and so learn very little from feedback provided with graded papers.

This is good news for W and C instructors: if students can learn from low-stakes work on which they receive feedback, you will have less grading to do. And you don't have to be the only one providing feedback, although generally students will perceive your feedback as most valuable unless you do something to change that perception.

Both grade writing and undgraded, low-stakes writing require some feedback. This section discusses the basic types and methods of responding to student writing and speaking, including:

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