02 November 2010

Feedback on Writing

I'm in the midst of an MBA program. As one may well imagine, it's a large time commitment with lots of reading, analytical thinking and writing.

Some of my favorite things, right?

Except one of the classes where the bulk of the grade is based on writing isn't going so hot. In fact, my grade is progressively getting worse.

And it got me to thinking about the feedback I'm getting from the course instructor and what I am doing with it. Most of the comments I've received are to the effect that I am creative in my solutions but not incorporating the course material appropriately. The solutions have been appropriate and well-developed.

My confusion resulted from the appropriate and well-developed solutions, but not incorporating the course material. How is that possible? If the solution is appropriate, I must be hitting the course material, right?

Wrong. A kind classmate shared his paper which earned him an A-level grade. He directly quotes the text, incorporates stats, etc. The difference, as far as I can tell, is that I was applying the knowledge in my solution without direct relation and my classmate was rehashing the text's jargon.

Each approach is fine, unless you are relaying on a passing grade. Then you need to play the audience.

It's the same for publishing, right? Your novel/book/article/baby may really show off your writing skill and creative juices, but if it isn't what your audience is looking for, it's the rejection pile for you.

I'm off to re-write my next case analysis. A little less creativity and a little more blatant fact.


Mary Vensel White said...

I have my MA in English but when my husband was in law school, he asked me to help at times with editing and the "English" they use in legal documents was unlike anything I'd ever seen! Seems they have a way of complicating the point, and adding a lot of references (sites) to back up their argument, which you never really quite get the gist of. Different writing for different fields...I commend you for being able to do two types!

Stacie Penney said...

Thanks, Mary! It's always an adjustment to figure out what the professor likes too.