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Article Title

Editorial Introduction

Publication Date

2018

Keywords

language background, peer review, academic literacies, teachers' comments

Abstract

We are thrilled to introduce and welcome you to our fourth volume year of Journal of Response to Writing. This is the seventh installment of the journal, and we are encouraged by JRW’s growing readership and increasing dissemination of scholarship internationally. As we continue to offer a shared venue for practitioners and researchers of English composition, second language writing, foreign language writing, and writing center studies, we hope that you will kindly share this open-access, online resource with your colleagues and students who are interested in issues of response to writing. In this issue, we are pleased to introduce a range of fascinating articles that offers important insight into response practices across multiple formats, programs, and student backgrounds. In our first article “Peer Reviews and Graduate Writers: Engagements with Language and Disciplinary Differences While Responding to Writing,” Kate Mangelsdorf and Todd Ruecker examine the efficacy and potential of graduate L2 peer review sessions. This under-researched area of inquiry is meaningful given the assumptions many teachers and graduate students share that feedback on graduate-level writing is best provided by content experts with native language proficiency. This study followed 12 graduate students (nine L2 writers) over a 16-week peer review course to examine the impact of language background and discipline on peer review interactions. From their investigation, the authors argue that “students’ attitudes toward language difference. . .played a greater role in making successful peer reviews than students’ categorization as L1 or L2 students.” Manglesdorf and Ruecker further arranged students in peer review groups by similar disciplines, yet they still found that differences in education level (M.A. vs. Ph.D.) could interfere with helpful peer reviews. Nevertheless, the authors indicate that regardless of linguistic or disciplinary differences, all graduate writers can increase their rhetorical awareness of academic writing as a positive outcome of graduate peer review sessions.

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