Peter Elbow

Time for another Peter Elbow infusion:

“Most students benefit when they feel that writing is a transaction between human beings rather than an “exercise in getting something right or wrong.” For this reason, I try to make my comments on student writing sound like they come from a human reader rather than from an impersonal machine or a magisterial, all-knowing God source. Thus:

    Instead of saying “The organization is unclear here,” I like to say “I got confused by your organization here.”

    Instead of “unconvincing,” “I’m unconvinced.”

    Instead of “Diction,” “Too slangy for me here.”

    Instead of “Awk” (for awkward), “I stumbled here.”

Elbow’s mantra in giving feed back is “at least do no harm.”


Comments are closed.