How well does your work match-up to your assessors’ expectations?
If you have just started your postgraduate or doctoral programme, or have only recently become an academic, you may be wondering how far you have already learned to think, read and write in the way that is now expected of you. When you come to write for assessment, try to meet all the criteria that will be employed for assessing your work. If you receive feedback, you can check what it implies for your progress with developing your critical frame of mind. Consider what you might concentrate on to further your progress.
You may have submitted writing for assessment already, and have received feedback. If so, it is worthwhile looking at this feedback now. You can check how well your assessors perceive that you are meeting the assessment criteria. You can also get an indication of how you may need to develop your critical frame of mind further. Here are some examples of possible assessors’ comments and their implications for developing your critical frame of mind.
Here are some examples of possible assessors’ comments and their implications for developing your critical frame of mind.
Suppose your assessors have given you constructively critical comments like these:
‘You need to be more critical.’
‘You're being overcritical.’
‘What exactly is the focus?’
‘You should be more convincing.’
‘I’m unclear where the discussion is leading to.’
‘I’m not sure how this bit is relevant to the focus.’
‘Referencing must be more complete and more accurate.’
Maybe you need to take extra care to insert references in the text where you are drawing on others’ work because you are using it to support your argument. References in the reference list must be accurate because they enable your assessors, in principle, to check that you have fairly represented what the authors have claimed.
‘A clear, convincing argument.’
You may find it useful to go through your assessors’ comments on your writing and to work out their implications for developing further your critical frame of mind.
You could help to speed up your own learning by drawing up a list of learning points that you could refer back to when you are next preparing to write for assessment.