What this resource is about:

This resource explains how to get meaningful feedback on your own writing and how to give meaningful feedback to others on their writing.

How to Ask for & Receive Feedback  

Understand the Need for Feedback:  

Revision is more than a grammar check. Assess where you are in your writing process. From there, find where you want help achieving your goal. The writing process is a continuous cycle of idea development and refinement. Depending on where you are in development, your feedback request may be for brainstorming, outlining, analyzing, connecting ideas together, organizing ideas, checking grammar and more!  

Ask yourself: Where am I in the writing process? What part of my writing do I want to focus on?  


  • “I have outlined some thoughts, but I am having difficulty organizing my ideas.”
  • “I have my prompt for my paper, but I don’t know what to write.”
  • “I just finished my rough draft, but I don’t know if my analysis is logical.”  

Ask for Feedback:  

Be specific in your request. Direct your readers. Explain your concerns. If you don’t know where you need feedback, that’s okay too. Consider some of the following options as places to start: developing ideas, consistency, or concision. Be open to exploring your writing, ideas, and asking for help!  

Ask yourself: Which steps do I need help with in my writing process? How can I be specific about what I need?  


  • “I have outlined some thoughts, but I am having difficulty organizing my ideas. Can you help me find my line of reasoning?”
  • “I have my prompt for my paper, but I don’t know what to write. Can you help me brainstorm ideas for my thesis?”
  • “I just finished my rough draft, but I don’t know if my analysis is logical. Does my evidence prove my thesis?”  

Process Feedback: 

The feedback process can feel overwhelming from the start. Once you start reviewing feedback, there can be a feeling that you have to use every piece of feedback you receive. There is no obligation to use all of the feedback. Take the time to consider your writing and how the revision suggestions meet (or don’t meet) the needs of your writing goal and speak to your voice.  

Ask yourself: How does the feedback I’ve received coincide with the aims of my paper? What questions does the feedback ask about my ideas? Does the feedback help me reach or detract from my goals?  


  This is your text! Consider which suggestions better the intent of your writing and ideas.  

  Prioritize! Especially if you're short on time, you might not be able to revise everything. Determine which revisions are most important and try to focus on those first.  

  Revising is a difficult process—sometimes, you might have to cut out pieces of writing that you liked; other times, you might need to put in some effort to dig deeper and expand on your ideas.  


How to Give Feedback to Others

Ask Specific Questions:  

The first step in giving feedback to others is figuring out what type of feedback they need. Not all writers are in the same place in their writing project, and their needs for feedback are different. Because of this, it’s important to ask what the other person is looking for. Be specific!  

Ask yourself: What part of their writing does the writer want to focus on? What questions can I ask to figure out what they need? Is my focus too broad, or is our conversation focused and specific?  


  • “Which parts of your piece do you want to focus on and why?”
  • “Are there any questions you’d like me to think about as I read?” 
  • “Would you like me to focus on bigger ideas or smaller, sentence-level choices?” 
  • “Are there any parts of the rubric that you’re struggling to understand?”  


Give Feedback to Others:  

When giving feedback to others, focus on the areas the writer is having trouble with. For example, if they need help organizing their ideas, don’t offer suggestions for better word choice—that can come later! Instead, focus on the writer’s needs. Ask questions if you aren’t sure what they’re looking for in feedback. Provide responses that are thoughtful, meaningful, and specific 

Ask yourself: What is the writer asking for help with? How am I understanding this text? Who is the writer’s audience? What are their goals with this piece?  


  • “I don’t understand the argument you’re making here. Can you explain how it connects to your research?” 
  • “I’m not familiar with this terminology. Is this a word your audience would know?” 
  • “This idea that you mention made me think about [X]. Have you considered talking about that more in your writing?”
  • “I like this section because...  


 Specify why a component works or doesn’t work! (ex: “The story is told concisely” or “The organization is easy to follow throughout the text”)  

 Avoid saying “yeah, it’s good” or “I liked it.” Those responses hinder the continuous feedback conversation and the growth of the writing.