Depending on the final grade you’re aiming for this semester, you’ll need to complete, revise, and give feedback on up to two Reflection Projects. A Reflection Project consists of three components:
- The project itself, which you’ll share with your whole class Family and with Prof. Farmer (instructions here)
- Feedback on the projects, which you’ll give and receive from two other classmates (the page you’re on)
- Revisions to the project, which you’ll complete in response to that feedback (instructions here)
You’ll submit your Reflection Projects by uploading them to your Family’s shared Google Drive folder. You’ll have access to all the Reflection Projects from your Family, and I encourage you to take a look at them! But you’ll also sign up to be paired specifically with two other members of your family to exchange feedback about your projects.
Your feedback is due before class on the Tuesday after the assignment deadline. This is a quick turnaround, but it’s necessary to give everyone time to make their revisions: plan well in advance to set aside the time you’ll need for this assignment. You will not receive credit for your own Reflection Project if you don’t give feedback on other students’ projects.
Preparing Your Feedback
Taking the projects one at a time, carefully read and re-read what your fellow students have written. Take notes as you go, either by adding comments in your own version of the document, or by noting them down separately; don’t make your notes in a shared document at this phase. Consider some of the following prompts as you read:
- What goals did the author set out achieve? Did they achieve them?
- What moments stand out to you as particularly strong? What’s compelling about them?
- What issues, flaws, or missed opportunities do you encounter in the essay?
- What unanswered questions did the essay leave you with?
Note that if you’re giving feedback on an Artistic Response assignment, you should focus your feedback on the reflection essay portion of the assignment. You should certainly check out the artistic work itself, and share your (positive) thoughts about it, but your critique should focus on the essay.
Compiling and Sharing Your Feedback
Once you’ve spent some time with the project, assemble your feedback into a form you’d like to share with the project’s author and your other writing partner. This could be a short summary paragraph, annotations in a shared document, or any other format you find helpful. Before compiling your feedback, please read these helpful tips on giving feedback from George Mason University’s writing center.
Focus on giving feedback that is positive, constructive, and meaningful.
- Positive: Keep your tone supportive and complimentary. Tell the author what you liked about their work, not just what needs improvement.
- Constructive: Focus on feedback that the author can implement in their revision process. Don’t tell the author how you would have done the assignment; help them see how they can make the assignment they produced better.
- Meaningful: Focus your feedback on the most important improvements the author could make. Few, meaningful comments are much more valuable than a catalogue of typos or minor errors. If you find yourself flagging too many issues, identify broader themes that connect them, and share those instead.
Your feedback will be visible to the author, your writing partner, the other members of your family, and me (Prof. Farmer), so remember to be courteous and professional. Sarcasm, personal attacks, patronizing, harsh language have no place here.
This is not required, but if you have time, I strongly encourage you to meet with your writing partners to discuss the feedback you’ve given each other. This can be a chance to express your enthusiasm for their work, provide nuance to your feedback, and commiserate about the challenges you’ve all faced. Holding a feedback meeting does not replace the requirement to submit your feedback in writing.
If you run into any problems during the feedback process (such as not receiving the assignments you’re supposed to give feedback on by the deadline), please contact me (Prof. Farmer) right away.