Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Arts in English, Rhetoric and Composition



Major Advisor

Heidi Estrem, Ph.D.


Jane Mathison-Fife and Peggy O'Neill, along with Nancy Summers, have decried the lack of student voices in composition studies' literature on teacher response. Responding to these researchers' concerns, I present three exploratory case studies of student readers of commentary within their classroom contexts. Using reading theory's insight that the interpretive act is always both subjective and socially situated, these case studies demonstrate that a richer literature on written feedback is possible through a consideration for student perspectives and for the cultural, institutional, and instructional factors that influence their understandings. At the same time, these case studies also illuminate the complexity and the value of students' readings of commentary within their classroom spaces.