Since I have never graded a paper before, it felt a little weird in the beginning. Since we are tutors, we focus more on helping a student have some kind of progress and become a better writer than caring about the grade. I looked at this paper as a tutor and wrote comments that would help the student improve on his or her writing. I left comments such as do a reverse outline and read the paper as though you are a reader and know nothing about the essay. When looking at your paper from the reader’s eyes, the mistakes one makes are easily seen. You would be more likely to notice your mistakes, such as not elaborating a certain point. You would start questioning what the writer is writing to convey and what he or she depicted on the paper. I also wrote comments for each paragraph which would help the student realize his or her mistakes more clearly. For example, I wrote, “what does paragraph 3 have to do with the thesis of the paper?” This would make the writer look back at the thesis and re-think about how paragraph 3 relates with the thesis. This does not necessarily mean that the student’s paragraph 3 is wrong but it shows how it is unclear in its relationship to the thesis. Also, I wrote that paragraph 1 lacked organization and the student could have elaborated the main ideas of that paragraph more. I did not just leave this comment but I made side comments where I put a question mark next to the things that came out of nowhere in the paragraph; with the question marks, I wrote what was wrong with that particular section. This would help the student understand where he lacks elaboration and what he should elaborate on for the future papers. Also I did not just bash the student’s paper with bad comments but I also left some good ones where the student did his or her job correctly. This would motivate the student to do better in the future papers by learning from their own mistakes and at the same time not being disheartened.
Instructor comments such as random question marks throughout the paper that do not explain for what reason he or she is putting the question marks are not helpful to the student nor the tutor. What are the question marks asking for, how, what, where or when? Which question should the student or tutor work on? Also when instructors underline or circle sentences without explain why they are doing so is not helpful at all. It could be for a good reason or a bad reason. It is also not that helpful when instructors leave general comments at the end of the paper and do not specify what part of the paper they are referring to. General comments at the end might be helpful to the tutor but not as much for the student.