Faster Feedback: Create Editing Shortcuts in Google Docs

Since I published “Stop Taking Grading Home,” I’ve had a ton of teachers ask me how I am able to give feedback on Google Docs so quickly. I give real-time feedback to ~8 students in a 25-minute station.

It definitely helps that I am a skilled typist. I also keep the scope of my feedback narrow, so I am not trying to correct everything in one real-time editing station. In a single real-time editing session I might focus on their thesis statements, topic sentences, analysis, or citations. It depends on the day and where we are in our work, but I don’t try to provide feedback on the entire paper all at once.

The real secret to my success is in creating shortcuts right in my Google Documents. Here’s how…

I hope this tip helps other teachers provide feedback on student writing more efficiently!

If you have a strategy you use to provide feedback or assess student work, please share it!

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14 Responses to Faster Feedback: Create Editing Shortcuts in Google Docs

  1. Sara says:

    Brilliant! Thank you!

  2. Susan Gray says:

    Thank you for creating this quick how-to for the Tools>>preferences! I knew there was a way to make this part of Google Docs, but I just couldn’t remember where to go. This will truly make my grading life much easier! Thanks again.

    • You’re welcome, Susan!

      • Jacquelyn says:

        Oh my gosh! I love you! I have not been able to give up using in my classroom because of the ability to pre-type all of my comments. I had no idea that this was even possible in Google! What I want to know now is whether or not there is a way to grade a Google doc when you do not have Wi-Fi. Also, do you use Doctopus to attach a rubric? I have found it to be a little tricky which is another reason I like turn it in. However, I love the idea of keeping everything in Google classroom. Love your tweets and book!

  3. Donna Lasher says:

    Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this! All teachers know the gift of time is the BEST gift of all, and you’ve just given generously! Whoo hoo!

  4. Nicole Bond says:

    Do these ‘preferences’ work in the comments if you add comments instead of typing them directly in the essay?

  5. Kelly says:


    Thank you for this shortcut. Do you have to type in these preferences to each student document? If using Google Classroom and making individual copies of a teacher master document, could these preferences be set up for all students from the beginning in the original document before sending a copy to each student?

  6. Megan says:

    I will have to try this! Right now I have a doc of comments and copy/paste them using the comment feature.

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