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Working with Reviewer Comments: Home

Working with Reviewer Comments: Success in four steps.

Content courtesy of the University of Louisville’s University Writing Center. 1. Take a breath. Receiving feedback: Remember that comments are the result of time spent by reviewers on your draft and represent an invitation to be part of a scholarly conversation. Try to recognize feedback as an opportunity, pointing out where you can clarify what you know for readers. Limit the time you spend initially reading comments, then put them aside. Remember that feedback is an essential part of the writing process—it can be uncomfortable, but it is a step towards completing and publishing your project. Interpreting feedback: Read the comments again, look for patterns, which comments are most important, and where reviewers agree. It may help to organize all reviewer comments by making a table, list, or diagram of all the comments you have received to sort them into categories. Distinguish between comments that ask for specific revisions of content or style and those that may just be noting an idea of interest or possible ideas to consider. Share the comments with people you trust and get their feedback.2. Set an agenda. Working with comments: Try to understand comments from the reviewers’ perspective. What do they know? What do they need to know to understand your project, and how can you address this gap? Make careful decisions about what to change and what you’re committed to keeping “as is”. Create a list of priorities and address larger revisions of content first, before addressing sentence-level stylistic issues.3. Be thorough. Responding to comments: Create a system for responding to comments and respond to each, whether you make changes or not. Write a cover note for the editor, or your committee member, describing how you have addressed the concerns raised in the review and briefly explain your reasons for any comments you were not able to address. Check out this guide for framing responses: slash 2 z h capital D 5 s p 4. Build a support network including your advisors, colleagues, trust peers, writing groups, and the UofL Writing Center.

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