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How to Give and Receive Feedback on your Writing. Or, how to do a thorough peer review English 101: JC Clapp North Seattle Community College

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How to Give and Receive Feedback on your Writing


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    1. How to Give and Receive Feedback on your Writing Or, how to do a thorough peer review English 101: JC ClappNorth Seattle Community College Note: This information is heavily borrowed from NelleEngoron “How to Give & Receive Writing Feedback” at http://open.salon.com/blog/silkstone/2009/02/17/how_to_give_receive_writing_feedback

    2. Giving Feedback Tell the writer what you liked – be specific. Point to a particular place in the paper and explain exactly why it’s working. Tell the writer what you didn’t understand – be specific. Point to a particular place and explain exactly what was unclear, undeveloped, or confusing Tell the writer what you wanted more of – be specific. Point to a particular place and explain why you want more information, detail or explanation

    3. What NOT to when giving feedback Don’t tell the person how to write or re-write. You’re giving response as a reader, not as a writer. Don’t give commands. Example: “You should . . .” or “If I were you, I would. . .” or “You need to change this . . .” Instead, describe your experience as a reader. Examples: “Here I found myself confused about what your main point was.” or “I wasn’t convinced by the evidence used here.”

    4. Receiving Feedback Listen in silence. Take notes. Only respond to ask a follow-up question if the feedback is unclear (“Are you saying that in paragraph two another example may help to support my point?”) or to thank the reviewer (“I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my work!”) Don’t argue.(“But I did explain myself, right here!”) Don’t explain yourself. (“What I was trying to do here was . . .”) Don’t explain your writing. (“My thesis was implied and complicated and sophisticated readers would understand it.”)

    5. What to Remember Writing has to stand alone. What you intended to say or intended to write doesn’t matter. What is on the page is what counts. Either it works for the reader or it doesn’t, period. The feedback you are most resistant to hearing is probably the feedback you need to hear most. Don’t be disrespectful when giving feedback – weaker writing doesn’t mean lazy or stupid.