Fifty Ways to Praise Your Students

Use Encouragement to Motivate

You have the opportunity to praise the work of your students and this will give them recognition for a job well done. This is a comment that focuses on the student. You can say, “You are so organized.” The tutor can also motivate the student through encouragement by saying, “Your essay showed great organization. Each idea was clearly developed.”

Othe examples of the difference between praise and encouragement:

Praise: “You’re a great writer.”
Encouragement: “This story is great. Your characters are so real.”
Praise: “You are super. You always get these problems right.”
Encouragement: “Your hard work on solving word problems really shows.”

Praise is one of the most influential tools a teacher or tutor can use. It encourages students to develop good study habits, utilize productive thinking and reasoning skills, and learn course content. Review the list below and consider the strategies that can help make praise an appropriate and effective tool.

  1. Good
  2. You’ve got it right
  3. That’s right
  4. Super
  5. That’s good
  6. You’re really working hard today
  7. You are very good at that
  8. That’s coming along nicely
  9. Good work
  10. That’s much better
  11. Exactly right
  12. You just about have it
  13. That’s it
  14. You are doing a good job
  15. That’s quite an improvement
  16. Great
  17. I knew you could do it
  18. Congratulations!
  19. Not bad
  20. Now you have it
  21. Good for you
  22. I couldn’t have done it better
  23. That’s the way to do it
  24. You’re on the right track now
  25. Nice going
  26. Keep up the good work
  27. Sensational!
  28. You’ve got your brain in gear
  29. That was first class work
  30. Excellent!
  31. Perfect!
  32. That’s better than ever
  33. Much better
  34. Wonderful!
  35. You must have been practicing
  36. You did that very well
  37. Nice going
  38. Outstanding
  39. Fantastic
  40. That’s the way to handle it
  41. That’s great
  42. Right on!
  43. Superb!
  44. You did a lot of work today
  45. That’s it
  46. Thank you
  47. Good thinking
  48. You outdid yourself today
  49. Good attempt
  50. You figured that out fast


Adapted from: Kim Wilcox, PH.D, Director of training for Supplemental Instruction, The University is Missouri-Kansas City, 50 Ways to Praise Students.