Assignment 4: tutor feedback

I got the report from my tutor Derek on this assignment (the critical review essay) whilst I was on holiday so it has taken me a while to get around to writing this up.

Key comments summarised below, with my response as appropriate.


  • “The essay is pitched at about the correct level. Its language is slightly informal for an academic piece, but the level and depth of research, the contextual referencing/quotes, the argument and structure are all handled well.”
    • Generally good feedback there
    • I do need to go back through the text looking for where my language is too informal
  • “As you go towards level three, the shift should be towards a critical view, more so than a descriptive one. This essay is okay for level two, but the emphasis could be more critical (as per the title). See the reference in the reading section for pointers on how to structure writing critically (i.e. not just what is, but what you make of it)”
    • This is a fair observation – though my first draft was even more descriptive and less critical
  • “It is really good that you lastly moved on to your own experiences, in reflective mode, to show what changed in your thinking.”
    • For this I can thank the advice of a couple of the first draft readers, as I only added in my own experience in the reworked version
  • “I think there is scope for more images to illustrate the points made – we go quite a distance before the images start.”
    • This is true – I will address this in the rework before final submission
  • “I’d also reread based on what your text says in relation to what the evidence shows, just for a final reflection.”
    • This refers to my analysis of particular photos, with examples given being the Peress, Norfolk and Koudelka images
    • I will revisit this in rework, as there are aspects of these images that may not have occurred to me on initial viewing that I can come back to
  • Some practical advice:
    • Citations need page numbers (I mostly included them but wasn’t totally consistent)
    • Mind maps help to organise structure and flow of arguments (I’ve started using these)
    • Could include sub-headings rather than just generic ‘…’ section breaks
    • Conclusion could be clearer and a little more detailed
    • Use all the word count – this came out slightly under (interestingly, my word processing app counted lower than my blogging app – must have different rules?)

Coursework and research

  • “Coursework is sound: the contextual and reflective elements are gaining ground as you progress. The build up to this review and to assignment 5 is well considered and shows a deep level of thinking.”
    • Pleased with this feedback
  • “Excellent progress. Contextual research is wide-ranging and considered.”
    • Again, pleased with this
  • “Reflection should play a greater part than description (as mentioned above).”
    • This is a fair point and something that my other tutor (for Gesture & Meaning) also tells me

Generally, as this is only the second essay I’ve attempted in 20-odd years, I was quite pleased with how it was received. I will leave it a few weeks, at the tutor’s advice, before I do another edit of it based on these comments.


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