Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Michael M. Williamson, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Patrick A. Bizzaro, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Mike Sell, Ph.D.


This study offers a step-by-step process for encouraging mutuality in the freshman composition class. This discussion begins by reexamining the theoretical underpinnings of response methodology in an effort to situate the act of responding to student writing within the scope of mutuality. In particular, this reconsideration reveals that most traditional response methods fall short of creating mutuality, since the teacher-responder most often orchestrates the revision process for students rather than with them. With that, this study closely examines Parallel Text and Sideshadowing as two contemporary response techniques that have the ability operate within the tenets of mutuality, making the student's voice an integral part of the response process. And, while each of the previous techniques encourages the teacher and the student to work collaboratively in order to create a revised text, this examination reveals that teachers' verbal and nonverbal behaviors influence students' receptions of their comments. In addition to teacher behavior, this study discovered that the classroom setting/atmosphere plays an equally important role in developing a co-intentional response approach within the scope of mutuality. The results of the previous examination reveal that in order for Parallel Text and Sideshadowing to truly fit within the parameters of mutuality, the teacher's performance in the classroom and the classroom environment must be considered as crucial elements that influence the response process. This study determined that response to student writing must be an extension of both the teacher's behavior and the overall classroom atmosphere in order for it to truly operate within context of mutuality.