I've written before about Markin (which I tried a few years ago but don't use any more) and about using autotext in Word, which I do. Autotext lets me explain things like apostrophes without extra typing so that I can spend more time on the substantive comments. My comments are customized to what I've seen students do and contain explanations that I've written myself. Also: it's free.
I usually use Word for earlier papers (so that I can insert explanations) and iAnnotate on the iPad for the later ones in a course.
Disclaimer: yes, I know about the research that says that commenting on grammatical features doesn't do any good, but if you comment on comma splices, etc., do you use these programs? This isn't a political post; I'm just curious. I don't use any of the following programs but wonder whether others do.
- GradeMark, which is apparently connected to Turnitin.
- GradeAssist, which is a set of prefab comments that you insert in Word.
- emarkingassistant, which was recommended in earlier comments.
- EssayGrader for iPad.
- If you use them, are they worth it?
- Do they help student writing?
- Do they make grading the essays easier?
- What program do you use that's not listed here?