How to Respond to Essay Feedback
When receiving an essay feedback, you feel as though you are on a trial. You look through your mistakes and comments in red and simultaneously feel ashamed, embarrassed or undergo some other spectrum of emotions. Having read the comments till the very end of the paper, you read your verdict – the feedback on your performance – and your heart skips a beat. The problem with most feedbacks that students receive is that they are not always clear enough for students and are not as easy to understand as the teacher might think.
So, in this article, we have gathered a list of the kinds of feedback students receive most often:
- “Heavily reliant on critics’ opinions”
If you have got this remark, then it means that you lack originality of thought in your writing. You put much emphasis on critics’ standpoint but fail to clearly demonstrate what you personally argue about the given issue or problem. So, if you have at least once received such feedback, pay attention to how much of scholars’ findings you paraphrase into your essay. All in all, try to develop your original responses and opinions.
- “Not sufficient word count”
This remark denotes that the essay is too short and you haven’t discussed what was required in sufficient detail. If you see the comment “too short” next to a specific section of the paper, it means that this particular section was not properly discussed. To avoid similar feedbacks in the future, pay great attention as to whether you have properly covered all aspects as per paper requirements.
- “Much unrelated information,” “wordiness”
These comments, on the contrary, refer to the situation when you wrote more than needed. Actually, it is frequently easier to write more than needed because in the process of conducting a research, you come across a variety of facts and information and you want to cover everything in the paper. In this case, it is advisable to make an outline or brainstorm the main ideas that you feel deserve most to be covered in the paper. If you happen to be prone to exceeding the word count limit, ask yourself, “Is the information I am writing relevant to the topic? Does it add up to the argument I put forward?”
- “Contradictory opinions”
This comment is probably on the list of the worst remarks you can get from your professor. As a rule, when you receive such remark, it denotes that you haven’t actually understood what you have written about. For example, you might have claimed something specific, but have provided a contradictory “supporting example,” which actually does not support your argument but contradicts it.
- “Too many direct quotes”
Do not make your essay a compilation of quotations. Your task in any case was to provide an original work, therefore, use quotes only in cases of necessity: when you need to provide examples or illustrations.
- “Insufficient evidence”
This comment can be particularly harsh in research papers: when you really need to provide some facts, statistics, and credible examples to back up your point.
- “Confused”/ “all over the place”
Do not make your essay chaotic. When you develop some ideas, make sure to do it consistently instead of cramming all the information you have found in one paragraph.