Revising with Instructor Feedback

When you receive a draft back from an instructor, you may be most interested in the grade showing at the top, but pay careful attention to any comments made throughout the paper. On a first draft, instructors provide feedback to help you improve your paper in the next round; ignoring their advice is an obvious mistake. But even on final drafts that you are not required to revise, it is worth reading and keeping track of instructor comments. These comments may be useful to you in future assignments and even in other classes.

Here are some of the most common pieces of revision advice that instructors note on student papers, along with strategies for using this feedback to improve your writing.

Of course, instructors may also note errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar, even in a first draft, and those corrections also need to be dealt with. But your main concerns in the revision stage are more global issues related to purpose, support, and organization.

Any time you are unsure of what your instructor means by a comment, be sure to follow up.