John Casey is a Lecturer in English at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he teaches courses in First Year Writing and Literature Surveys. Including his years as a Graduate Student Instructor, he has sixteen and a half years of teaching experience at the college level. He has served as Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies in English and Assistant Director of First Year Writing. In both positions, he was involved in attempts to revise the departmental curriculum for undergraduates. He has presented papers on a wide variety of subjects that touch upon the teaching of writing and literature and currently serves as the Director of Anglophone/American Literatures for the Northeast Modern Language Association. His current research interests include the representation of veterans in popular culture and farming metaphors in early U.S. fiction.
There’s a lot of talk in teaching circles about feedback—how to give an appropriate amount that doesn’t overwhelm the student (or the teacher’s workload) and balances praise and constructive criticism. Finding praise is, of course, characterized by its very verb as the part where you have to strain yourself, what you include to soften the blow your critique.