• Video interview with Emily Wilson and Justine Post, authors of Developing Writers chapter one, discussing the applications of their chapter for students of writing.

Transcript

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    I'm Emily Wilson.

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    I'm a Doctoral candidate in
    the joint program in English and

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    Education here at
    the University of Michigan.

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    My name is Justine Post.

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    I'm currently an assistant
    professor of Rhetoric and

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    Composition at Ohio Northern University.

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    I also direct the Writing Center there.

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    I think one of the biggest takeaways for
    students is that it's okay for

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    them to have a range of feelings about the
    feedback they receive on their writing.

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    We ultimately came to talk about
    this as moments of accepting or

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    moments of resisting.

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    Because we saw in each individual student,
    a range of experiences.

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    What really mattered for
    their growth and

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    rating was how they
    engaged with the feedback.

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    And we came to call this critical
    engagement with feedback.

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    And what that looks like is, when you
    think about broader purposes for your

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    writing than just an assignment, broader
    audiences than just the instructor.

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    When you use the feedback as a springboard
    for reflecting on your own writing,

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    and then also when you analyze
    the feedback and decide what's good and

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    what applies, what works for you and
    then what doesn't work for your writing.

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    But it's going through the process
    of making those choices and

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    thinking through them critically that
    really matters the most for development.

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    One of the first things that students
    should be aware of is that they do not

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    have to address every single comment
    that they receive on their writing.

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    There'll be times where a comment might
    not make sense to a student because also

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    that's not at all what I was trying
    to accomplish in this moment.

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    Instead of just disregarding that comment,
    that's an opportunity to think about

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    why would a reader in this
    moment come to this conclusion?

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    What am I doing in my writing
    that's preventing them from seeing

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    what I'm trying to accomplish?

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    How can I develop this section?

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    And the more that they're critical of and
    really reflecting on why they got certain

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    feedback and how they can address the
    comments that are of most concern to them,

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    that's what's gonna benefit
    them the most as writers.

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    We refer to that as
    an uncritical resistance.

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    So you're not really open to receiving
    any kind of feedback, and the feedback

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    that you do receive, you just tend to
    reject without really thinking about it.

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    And I would encourage students

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    to not necessarily change how
    they feel about feedback.

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    It's really not possible to change
    how you feel about something.

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    But really start to change their
    view of what feedback is and

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    how it's meant to work.

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    I think to add to that as well, I would
    encourage the student to sit down and

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    read the comments.

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    A lot of times I think
    the reactions to comments can

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    also be connected to reaction to grades.

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    So if it's a really low grade
    you weren't anticipating,

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    maybe that's not the moment to
    read the comments you received.

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    But walk away from it,
    give it some time, and

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    then force yourself to go back and
    read that feedback.

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    The more distance you have
    from your own writing,

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    the more critical you can be of your
    own writing, and that might also help

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    a student feel more open to
    the comments that they've received.

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    There are obstacles that
    make it more difficult for

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    people to engage with feedback.

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    And so those obstacles include,
    in particular,

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    any kind of change or
    transition in different spaces.

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    So students in our study talked about how
    the feedback they received in high school

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    was different than the feedback
    they received in college.

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    You're gonna get different
    types of feedback,

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    you're gonna get different
    amounts of feedback.

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    And just being open to adjusting and
    adapting to that I think can

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    help make the process of engaging with
    feedback a little bit more productive.

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    In terms of getting different kinds
    of feedback across different context,

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    we found that students said over and

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    over that they felt that
    feedback was really subjective.

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    Because it changed so
    much from one context to the next.

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    But across those context,

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    what matters in the end is how
    you engage with that feedback.

Interview with Emily Wilson and Justine Post: For Students

From Developing Writers in Higher Education: A Longitudinal Study by Anne Ruggles Gere, Editor

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