Top Tips for Incorporating Feedback After a Paper Review -->

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Top Tips for Incorporating Feedback After a Paper Review

So you’ve written your paper, you’ve submitted it to your writing instructor, and you got an email notifying you that you can collect your paper and your feedback.  What now?  If you’re like me, one of the hardest parts of the revision process is to figure out what and where to start.  With that in mind I have created a list of the things I found most helpful as both a student and a writing instructor to help you through your revision journey! 
A Text and Graphic intro slide for this blog post including the title of the post and the Walden U logo


1. Approach all revisions with a clear mind and be open to the suggestions of others 

No matter what activity allows you to remain focused during your revision sessions (yoga, cooking, reading, gardening, etc), be sure to do it beforehand and save some time for a tune-up midway through (for me this is usually 100 jumping jacks!).  Once you center yourself you’re  already set  up for success, and the next tips will flow even easier.

2. Incorporate feedback as needed

Sometimes you may not know what to do with some of the feedback being suggested.  Perhaps a Writing Instructor recommends that you expand on ideas that are not necessarily relevant to your work, and you feel your paper would benefit more by omitting that information.  This is just fine!  However, what is important is that you make notes of this in your MyPass form.  This allows your next instructor to better focus their review, and see that you did make corrections to your document. 

3. Choose one issue to focus on if the feedback seems overwhelming

Sometimes you will get a lot of specific information and detailed feedback in a review, and it may feel overwhelming.  This happens to all of us, and it is OK!  The best thing to do in this situation is to make sure that you chose one main issue to focus on in your review.  In doing this you can make your revision more targeted, and less overwhelming.  Once you have revised that one large issue, you can go back and revise some of the smaller issues presented in the review.

4. Incorporate feedback to the entire document, not just the area the instructor noted

A good example of this would be for in-text or parenthetical citations.  If you are given feedback on how to correct these make sure that you apply this feedback to all instances of this error throughout.  This will allow your next review to focus on different content, which will give you more information and more ideas to work from.

5. Make sure that you accept or decline all comments in the document

Work your way all the way through your document. You never know when your Instructor will leave you a comment all the way at the end of your references list. Plus, it’s easier for you to continue your revision with a clean draft.

6. Leave enough time between reviews for revision

If you have a paper that is due Friday that you would like the writing center to look at, it would be best to get the paper in by Monday.  Writing instructors have 48 hours to review papers from the time of the appointment.  In leaving yourself enough time for the review process and editing you will ensure that you set yourself up for success, and avoid being stressed due to time constraints.

7. Send Follow-Up Questions to Writing Support

Sometimes during the revision process we may find we do not fully understand use feedback that was explained to us during our review.  However, the Walden University Writing Center has staff members who answer writing support emails 7 days a week, so no matter the time or day of your question you can get help in 24-48 hours! Drop our helpful Writing Assistants a line at WritingSupport@WaldenU.edu

8. Make use of Writing Center live chat services for additional help or clarification

A great way to get live-time clarity about questions or feedback is to visit our chat services.  Chat services are offered over a wide variety of dates and times, and can help you achieve clarity and understanding while you continue your review process. Check out the schedule on our homepage, here.

9. Review webinars, modules and other Writing Center resources to clarify the information you are revising

Webinars and modules,  as well as  our paper templates, grammar reviews, and quick tips and tricks can help to make your revision easier.  Are you having trouble figuring out how to find that extra research your writing instructor asked you to include?  We have a webinar for that!  Are you stuck, and faced with writer’s block?  We have materials as well as webinars that will coach you though these issues and get you back to writing.

10. Make a list of what feedback was most helpful so you can inform your next Writing Instructor

One of the best ways to approach a second review of a paper, or even a new review, is to give the writing instructor as much information as possible.  In telling the writing instructor how you best receive feedback, and what works best for you and what you find confusing you will ensure that you get a more targeted review.  Every review is new and personalized so if something works— let us know!  And if you find something from a past review confusing, also let us know so we can explain it to you in a different way that better meets your learning needs. 

So no matter how many times you have visited the writing center, remember there is always something new we can help with!  And never forget that the help we give you does not end with the closing message of our review.  We are here to help you with all elements of your revision process. Happy writing, and I look forward to seeing you all in the writing queue! 


Meghan Barnes is an instructor and writer based in the South. She has two dogs, and a handful of composting worms  that she enjoys feeding scraps to. When she is not writing, editing, or reading, she enjoys playing kickball, softball, and other active sports.


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