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Providing Feedback to Student Writing

Approaches for using comments on student writing to promote diversity and respond to bias include:

  1. Ask for concrete examples, clarifications, illustrations, and details.
  2. Rephrase their comments to make sure you intend what they are saying and ask students to respond-did you understand what they were trying to communicate?
  3. Provide additional information that corrects information or fills in missing information.
  4. Provide students with different perspectives-alternative ways of looking at the same situation.
  5. Provide students with concepts that can help them to make sense of their own experiences.
  6. Provide students with additional resources-books, websites, films, etc-that can broaden their understanding.
  7. Acknowledge that there is often emotional strain in dealing with these issues.
  8. Affirm students' willingness to explore alternative ways of looking at the world and taking actions.
  9. Share appropriate examples of your own journey to become more knowledgeable and aware.

adapted from L. Marchesani's Promoting Diversity through Student Writing: Issues and Techniques. In Teaching for diversity and social justice: A sourcebook , Adams, Maurianne, Bell , Lee Ann, and Griffin , Pat, eds. New York : Routledge, p. 274