New Publication: Feedback in Online Writing Forums: Effects on Adolescent Writers

Abstract

Adolescents are writing online. A cursory look at the web reveals that teenagers are well-represented; in blog posts, social media updates, profile pages, comments on YouTube videos, responses to news articles, and websites about their interests, teenagers are writing (Williams 2009). In the current research study, the specific kind of adolescent writing under consideration is writing posted in a social media context designed specifically for writers. This case study focuses on six young writers who are active members of an online writing community, and who post their writing in order to receive feedback. Descriptive data collected through interviews, as well as from samples of writing in the online community provide answers to the research questions: a) Who participates in online writing communities? b) Why do people participate in online writing communities? c) What kind of feedback do members of online writing communities receive on their writing? Educational implications for an informal writing pedagogy, for expanding the notion of “peer” in peer feedback, and for valuing students’ “out-of-school” writing are discussed.

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