What is the Purpose of Feedback?
Feedback is an essential part of the learning process, but criticism can cause anxiety for many students. Therefore, it is important to ask, what is the purpose of feeback? Students will receive written feedback on essays using a standard form. Comments are made on the content, structure and argument of your essay, as well as on presentation and use of evidence. It will also be noted whether work conforms to academic conventions regarding correct referencing and construction of bibliographies.
If students require verbal feedback on their work from a member of staff then they should arrange a meeting with the relevant tutor
Organisation, Knowledge and Understanding
This section is used to make comment on the content of the work - the depth of knowledge; the extent of empirical detail; understanding of key arguments; the relevance of the content to the question.
The marker is also looking at how the essay has been structured: does the way that the essay is structured offer a logical, progressive and coherent method of answering the question? The marker is looking here at how the argument has been put together so that it progressively builds throughout the essay, with one paragraph logically following on from, and developing, the previous.
The argument needs to be informed and persuasive. The marker is looking for evidence of careful reading, depth of understanding, and the ability to synthesise material into an argument which addresses the key issues raised by the question and which also can be backed by substantive evidence.
The marker will be looking at whether you have used the main recommended texts and whether the items listed in the bibliography have all been used in the writing of the essay. H/she will also be looking for evidence of initiative - i.e. of the student identifying alternative and relevant sources.
The citation, in footnotes and bibliographies, must be full and consistent.
Writing Style and Presentation
The marker is looking here for evidence of a professional standard of presentation. The lay-out should be clear and the work should be carefully proof-read (i.e. no spelling, typographical, punctuation or grammatical errors).
Also, the marker is looking at the writing style - the ability to write clear and full sentences; the ability to construct proper paragraphs; the proper use of quotations; the sophistication and elegance of sentence construction.
This section is used to make more detailed comment on the content of the essay, picking up problems with detail and analysis, and raising questions about certain issues. It is also used to identify the strengths of the essay and to highlight areas of good knowledge and judgement. This may be done by numbering sections on the essay for explanation on the pro forma.
I have published several articles to help students with their academic work: