Addressing both the student's and professor's perspective
of the "grading via e-mail" process, this highly-organized web
handout reviews ways that professor and student alike can organize their
workload when sharing drafts with others. It also offers the excellent "Grading
Papers with Word"
This handout explains the process of recording macros,
pre-programmed responses that can be entered quickly when needed.
This site presents the best explanation of using text
boxes for adding comments.
In the computer classroom, we have access to a number
of tools and processes not available in a "chalk and talk" classroom.
Many of these tools have been named and explained in a web-based handout
called "Use of Emerging Technology in the Writing Classroom" (http://cai.ucdavis.edu/caihandouts/caigrid.html
Others instructors have presented similar resources to their colleagues
and students. See, for instance, "Word Processing Ideas," mostly
computer classroom activities that Professor Stephen Krause (http://krause.emich.edu/
uses with his students at Eastern Michigan University (http://www.emunix.emich.edu/~krause/Tips/word.html
We might look particularly at Krause's discussion of Freewriting, Musical
Computers, Abstracting, and UGH Drafts for Self Editing as examples of writing
activities that can work with a variety of settings and tools.
Today we'll look at three additional tools, AutoCorrect Entries, Inserting
Comments, and Tracking Changes.
If we combine these two ideas, those of the grading symbol
and the computer shortcut, we could imagine ways that Microsoft Word's built-in
automatic spell-checker, "AutoCorrect," could be used as a primitive
programming application to automate the process of providing marginal comments
for the most common problems with grammar and usage that we see in students'
As a grader of virtual drafts, I have begun to create autocorrect grading
"symbols" that immediately expand to a comment and some advice
on a particular kind of writing problem. Using Microsoft Word, then, when
I type "1intro1," for instance, the words "Missing Introductory
Comma" appear. When I type "1intro2," one sees "Missing
Comma after an Introductory Element." "1intro3" yields "Readers
usually need a small pause between the introductory element and the main
part of the sentence, a pause most often signaled by a comma," while
"1intro4" becomes "Try to get into the habit of using a comma
after every introductory element, be it a word, a phrase, or a clause. When
the introductory element is very short, you don't always need a comma after
it." I tell my students that I'll be using and quoting the Lunsford
book. Even in those classes where The
Everyday Writer is not assigned, I still present students with a
handout explaining the "20
Most Common Errors." I also link to Lunsford's explanation from
my course web site, along with the English Department Grading Standards,
and a list of the grading symbols I use.
Try this at home with the sort of comments you use most often. If you depend
upon other writing handbooks, such as the late Diana
Hacker's A Writer's Reference, then consider using the alphanumeric organization and
symbols used by that popular writing guide. You might know, for instance,
that "P1-a" in the Hacker book means that one should "use
a comma before a coordinating conjunction joining independent clauses"
(244). That way, a student in your class can instantly know the problem
and review it further in your assigned textbook.