parent nodes: [audience] | [External Examiner] | [peer review] | [reflective practice]


In traditional academic publishing, there are many feedback mechanisms to ensure that there is close coordination between the writer's idea of the audience and the reader's idea of the audience, such as the use of editors and peer review. For student essays, equivalent feedback is provided by marker's comments, which you should always analyze carefully for what they reveal about the audience expectations behind the mark awarded (another source of information about these expectations are the published marking criteria).

It's an essential part of reflective practice that you link marker's comments to things you are going to do differently next time you write an essay. For example, if your marker comments that they find your essay poorly structured, you need to try to look at your essay from your marker's point of view, and think about where you might have put in more cues and signposting to make the direction of your argument clearer. Markers' comments about structure will often be signs that you've taken an inappropriately writer-orientated approach to your essay, so you need to consider how you might make your writing more reader-orientated.

It's worth taking time to think over marking feedback in detail (and getting your tutor to explain their feedback if you don't find their comments clear), because the difference between getting high marks for an essay and getting bad marks usually has more to do with the essay's design for a reader than with its actual content. This is because the primary purpose of an essay about literature is not to convey facts, but to set out an argument which provides motivation for the material you choose to include.