Helpful Feedback

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As a writer, it is important to get feedback from others on your writing. Giving feedback also helps your own writing skills by enabling you to see the sorts of mistakes others make, and trying to avoid those mistakes in your writing.

However, not all feedback is of the same quality. The following suggestions should help you give helpful feedback.

Don't be mean[edit]

This is critical. Most people have put a good amount of work into their writing, and having it attacked can make people defensive. People are more likely to listen to considerate feedback than abusive feedback. Consider the two following sentences:

  • Your grammar is as bad as a preschooler.
  • Your grammar could use some improvement.

Both of these express that the grammar in the piece of writing has some problems, but the second is much nicer, and less likely to be taken as a personal attack.

Give constructive advice[edit]

It's not difficult to say "This writing is bad," but it is far more useful to provide advice on how to improve the writing.

Point out exceptionally good choices[edit]

If you see something you particularly like, point it out! Hearing that others like what you've worked on can make all the time spent working feel worth it.