Peer response groups in the composition classroom have become a standard part of the writing process for many teachers. However, some teachers maintain that the results of peer response groups are uneven at best, noting that students do not stay on task or that the quality of the student response itself is superficial. These concerns and others led researchers to a great deal of study on this topic during the 1980s and 1990s. There is, however, a gap in current research about the students' discourse in peer response groups, how that discourse affects students revisions, and students' thought processes as they make their choices during the revision process. This qualitative study helps to fill this gap by taking a look inside eight writing groups of a College-in-the-Schools / AP composition class in northern Minnesota. Using an ethnographic and sociolinguistic analytical framework and the constant comparative method for the data analysis, this study examines the discourse of peer response groups and how that discourse relates to the revision of student writing. Findings of this study include observations of the intertextual nature of peer response, the collaborative generation of ideas in response sessions, and how the peer response process allows students to examine new perspectives. This study also includes implications for researchers and for teachers who are interested in using peer response groups in their classrooms.
University of Minnesota Ed.D. dissertation. May 2011. Major: Teaching and Learning. Advisors:Dr. Frank Guldbrandsen, Dr. Lynn Brice. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 155 pages, appendices A-B.
Witikko, Neil Bryan.
"I‘ll get by with a little help from my friends": peer response groups in the composition classroom..
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