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Week 7: Criterion Based Feedback and feeling Inadequate

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By Katia-Angela Guzzardi February 21, 2022 - 5:17pm

I received my first set of feedback on my first draft for the critical review assignment and my instant reaction is “gosh my writing is inadequate.” I know feedback is not meant as a critical statement on me as a person, but a tool to help me improve my writing. 

 I know my first draft is inadequate. I logically know that I have not written in MLA style in fourteen years, I need to work on my punctuation, and this is shockingly the first critical review that I have ever done, thus, to expect my first draft to be good, is foolish. Asking myself Peter Elbow’s criterion-based question when reading over my work will be a crucial tool going forward.

“What is the quality of the content of the writing: the ideas, the perceptions, the point of view?”

The quality of the writing in inadequate, the ideas are good but not solid and the perceptions lack understanding. When I thought about this question, I also wondered why my draft was muddled and even my organization was weak. My current conclusions are that I misunderstood the concept of a critical review and instead wrote an overly critical, argumentative piece. I do attribute this to my years as a history major, because Fernsten and Reda’s work would only ever be a tool used to help me find works that did come with research and empirical data. I do believe that their work and the concept of reflective writing practices is an interesting topic that deserves further exploration, but my own work lacked clarity.

For me to improve the quality of my work I need to further workshop and read my work from the readers perspective as well. I had a very productive meeting with Dr. Volek to discuss a few points in my critical review and the helpful reminder to write a critical review similar to a smart phone review has given me some clarity on how to rewrite and reorganize my thoughts. 


Elbow, Peter. Selections from Writing with Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process. 2nd ed. Oxford U P, 1998. ProQuest Ebook Central,


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