I have used both the Comment function that Mon Nasser talks about as well as the Track Changes function within Microsoft Word that Lisa Kramme accurately discusses.  If fact, those of you who read the Techtalk column realize that Lucy and I talked about these functions as well as the use of footnotes in the first issue this year.

My students like the ability to see the comments pop-up when they place the cursor over the comment within the text, or view the comments within the Comment View window.  I would recommend configuring your preferences within Word so that your name, or if you do student peer editing the student's name, appears as the person making the comment. You configure your preferences by selecting from the Edit menu Preferences/User Information and filling out your (or the student's name).  The initials are what will appear with the comment.

Similarly, I would configure the Track Changes function where each color would represent a different editor. This is particularly helpful with peer editing.  Configure the Track Changes function colors by selecting from the Tools menu Track Changes/Highlight Changes/Options. Here you pick a different color for each person so the writer can see who is making which change.

The comment fuction is also available within the latest version of Word Perfect, but not other word processors like AppleWorks or Microsoft Works.  With drafts from those word processors, I use the footnote function to add comments.  You can see examples of a paper with footnote comments at:

If you start using this, let the rest of us know how well your students like it.

Dave Caverly