metaphorical response, first-year composition, writing centers, online tutoring


Writing instructors and writing tutors are often interested in discovering whether their responses to student writing facilitate student revision at a deep level. This teaching article illustrates how written metaphorical response can prompt student revision beyond surface features. It includes a description of tutor training in metaphorical response; tutors’ responses offered to first-year composition students’ first drafts of an assignment; students’ second-draft revisions; and remarks from interviews with tutors, students, and course instructors. In particular, I examine the specific metaphorical strategies used by tutors to convey revision advice. Generalizing from these findings, I show how tutors and teachers can use metaphor as a means of clarifying their intent, motivating students, and stimulating deep revision of students’ texts.



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