Facilitative Commentary: An Introduction


About fifteen years ago, various scholars in English studies suggested a new method of commentary to replace the directive commentary method (Straub 223). Facilitative commentary differs from directive commentary in ways that benefit students. The paper remains the student's work, with the teacher acting as an advisor and motivator rather than a harsh critic or editor. By its structure and design, facilitative commentary digs into the writing process by targeting rhetorical issues such as organization and development, encourages students to think through their ideas, and provides them with strategies on how to express them. Students can then take the comments beyond specific writing assignments and use them as tools to becoming a better writers. Stephen M. North best explained the need for such facilitative commentary when he said the goal of commentary should be to produce better writers, not better writing (North 32).



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