Many 1L students do not understand that written comments have different purposes and varying degrees of importance. In addition, students often do not fully appreciate the importance of editing in stages. Color-coding comments is one way to help students both distinguish between different comments and incorporate comments during the revision process.
Color-coded comments are particularly useful early in the semester when students are revising drafts. Color-coded comments allow students to identify the “type” of comment (e.g. organizational vs. grammatical) before reading the substance of the comment, allowing for better comprehension of the comment. In addition, color coded comments can help students integrate comments in a systematic manner (e.g. addressing blue comments before yellow comments).
In this article, I explain how to color-code comments using Adobe Reader and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of color-coded comments.
The Law Teacher
Morath, Sarah J., "They Know Their Colors: Using Color-Coded Comments to Facilitate Revisions" (2014). Akron Law Publications. 235.