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Crafting End Comments on a Draft

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Students read end comments closely and refer to them repeatedly in rethinking and revising their work. This means that you want to compose the final end comment carefully.

Tips for Effective End Comments

  • Open by articulating what you see as the major idea or claim and the major structuring principle of the draft.
  • List the three or four most important things the student needs to attend to, in order of importance, referring back to the language of your assignment and criteria sheets.
  • Note the strongest parts of the draft and offer suggestions on how to bring other parts of the draft up to that standard.
  • Remind the student of the due date for the next or final draft.
  • All students can benefit from a Writing Center consultation. Direct students to the  Hume Writing Center website to set up an appointment.
  • When a draft indicates to you that the student has not done sufficient work or needs to change direction completely, don’t spend a lot of time responding to the draft. Instead, write brief comments recognizing the undeveloped state of the draft and helping them think more clearly about their approach.  Save your efforts for the conference, by which time the student may have additional ideas or even a new draft.