Receiving our editorial feedback | The Writing Academy

01 Jan 2019
By Unite Students, Staff writer at The Common Room

When you become a Common Room student writer, we promise to give you detailed editorial feedback from a professional writer.

We’ll send this to you along with an edited version of your article, and it will include:

  • a summary of how our edited version is different to your original submission
  • a description of what impressed us and what you should keep doing
  • specific suggestions for how you can improve with your next article
  • general writing advice, on topics such as structure, flow and clarity of language
  • a request for you to confirm that you’re happy for us to publish the edited article

Here’s a real piece of editorial feedback we sent to our student writer Pauline:

Both of Pauline’s recent articles were a real joy to read. She should be really proud of her work because it’s clear, well-planned, and helpful.

Here’s what I liked:

1) The writing is relaxed and relatable, but clear and informative. I can imagine a broad range of students being able to read and get useful advice from both articles. Excellent.

2) The structure in both pieces is very good. Titles and headings all do a good job of describing what’s in the article. Pauline uses verbs in both cases to good effect, helping people understand the actions they can take.

3) Both articles have lovely flow. They start with an explanation of the problem, then they move onto practical advice for solving it, and (in the case of the student flat article) sign off with a nice summary statement of the lessons learned.

For next time:

I’d encourage Pauline to always look for the solution, always be reassuring and helping. I made a couple of edits across the two articles where I felt the emphasis on the problem was a little too strong. It’s great to describe an unwanted feeling or situation, as long as we dedicate more time and more energy to helping the reader overcome it.

I’d also love to see examples for each point. Pauline describes her experiences really well, especially in the flat-sharing article. The deadlines piece would have benefited from just a few more specific ideas, based on Pauline’s experience.

Overall, brilliant. I really can’t praise Pauline enough for a fab start to her student writer role. Very excited to help her develop as a writer and read more of her work.

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