Refer to our Workshop Best Practices notes from the class Google Doc for guidelines on how to develop and curate your comments. Remember you’re responsible for annotations on the drafts themselves, as well as a letter of feedback–at least 2 paragraphs–that reflects what you think is working well in the writer’s drafts, and specific priorities for improvement. Think in terms of at least one Large Comb issue, one Medium comb, and one Small comb to help your workshopmate focus their revision.
The noetes from the class:
Reflect on a time you got feedback on your writing/other work–what was useful? What was unhelpful? What are some goals for this workshop, or what would be on your wishlist for an ideal writing workshop?
Go beyond “like/dislike”–be constructive and anchored in the text
Ask questions, ask for clarification— “What did you mean by that”
What is the writer’s purpose? How can you help them achieve it?
Summarize/Say back: “What I see you doing is X, is that what you meant?”
Respect writer’s voice, don’t give instructions
Point out 1 representative example of a larger issue
Offer suggestions, based on your knowledge of the readings etc
Prioritize big picture feedback over small sentence-level corrections
Point out moments to explain/unpack–asking for more instead of criticizing
Help prioritize things to fix
Aim for non-evaluative feedback: What is your experience as a reader?
- The writer has several strong quotes from the texts
- The quotes show connections between concepts and the article
- The structure is pretty solid, understandable, the argument is clear
- The writer gets their main idea across, about how one should speak up instead of being silent
- Language is easy for the reader to understand
- The writer leaves the reader with something to think about
- You’ve got an ambitious 3rd paragraph–I’d like to hear more about each of the texts
What could be improved?
- Introduce sources–could you provide some background on the authors?
- It would be helpful to know if the writer is trying to say that people with disabilities should speak out vs speak up (which you’d explain…)–what do you want readers with disabilities to do with this information?
- For me as a reader, the flow of ideas is…
- In the 3rd paragraph, there are a lot of quotes–so it’s harder for me as a reader to pay attention to each one.
- Can you introduce Longmore or Jarman to your reader with more information
- As a reader, it would be helpful to me to know what the writer’s referring to at some moments, for example, at the end of the 2nd paragraph…Who’s “we”?
- Is each paragraph’s purpose clear to you/could you make it clearer to a reader
- While every paragraph points to the thesis, the organization is not always clear
- Take a look specifically at the topic sentences
- Transitions between paragraphs could use refining
- Citations need fine-tuning–in line parentheticals–Check MLA formatting
- Word choice–specific examples where you’re confused (repetition/tense)