Dissertation Learning Support

5 ways to make the most of feedback

Receiving feedback on your work can be one of the most helpful things – especially as you write up a large piece of work – but it can also be difficult to hear (or read) when you have invested so much time and effort into your work.

The important thing is not to take anything personally – take a step back, take some time to digest it and reflect on what the person giving feedback is saying.

Here are some tips for making the most of feedback:

1) Make sure that you understand what is being said or asked of you. After studying for so long comments like “you need to clarify” become familiar – but rather than just glossing over or doing a quick rewrite spend some time thinking about exactly what was meant.

2) Be confident about what you want to know! If you want feedback on a certain section that hasn’t been addressed – ask! Also, be prepared to ask for more feedback or clarification about what has been said. Consider writing down some questions beforehand so you are ready.

3) Turn the feedback into bullet points- so it almost becomes a to-do list. The process of doing this will help make sure that you understand what’s being asked. The result will make sure that you action the points in turn and might help you see a pattern in the type of work that needs to be done. Is there some specific aspect of your research that you need to revisit or something  more practical that you need support with to help your writing ? Don’t forget My Learning Essentials have a resources and are still running a few sessions over summer  to help with dissertation research and writing.

4) Take some time to digest what is being said, assess how critical it is to your work to decide how much time you need to spend on each point.

5) Don’t ignore it! If you really don’t agree with something,  think about why your tutor has made that comment – is it something in your argument that they’ve misconstrued (that probably says something about part of your argument) or is it something you’d just not thought about. Still, if you’re struggling see their point – draft a well thought out response with clear questions or make notes if you’re going to see them face to face.

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