Revising Based on the Fellows’ Feedback

When working with the Writing Fellows, you will typically receive feedback in the form of comments and inline edits in your document file.  The exact process for accessing and incorporating those suggestions will differ depending on which software you are using.  Instructions for the most common programs are included below.

Always make sure to incorporate all suggested corrections and address any questions or issues raised by the Fellow before submitting a new draft.  If you are unsure how to fix something or have questions based on the feedback you receive, don’t hesitate to ask!  We are happy to clarify, provide additional information, or otherwise help ensure you are able to improve your writing.

More information about how to revise a paper can be found in our Proofreading and Revising guide, as well as Drafts: Respond, Redraft, Revise.

 

Instructions for Microsoft Word

To view Track Changes comments and edits, open the file in Microsoft Word and go to the Review panel. Make sure that you choose the view “Final with Markup” to see the edits and comments. Hit Next to see the first edit and then you can choose to “accept” (which makes the change permanent) or “reject” which will revert to the original. You do not, of course, need to take all of the Fellow’s suggestions as is, but you should be sure to address each of the issues he/she has pointed out in some way.

For inline edits (i.e., if the Fellow adds a comma, deletes something, or fixes a word), clicking “Accept” will make the change permanent, so you won’t need to do much else for those. Generally, though, the Fellow will give an explanation for these edits and may refer you to additional resources on common writing issues. Try to use those suggestions and materials to understand why you are making certain mistakes and learn how to avoid them in the future.

Comments will require a little more thought, since you will need to make changes beyond just clicking “Accept”. Accept will make the comment go away, but if the comment said to clarify what you mean in a certain sentence, for example, Word won’t do that for you. (Wouldn’t life be so much easier if it did!) Some comments might just be explanations of an edit, but for most, you’ll need to do whatever the comment suggested. The easiest way to make sure you don’t miss any fixes is to save the document the Fellow sends back to you as a new file, make any suggested corrections, and then keep working in that new file. If you’ve been working on the paper while waiting for feedback, though, you can use the “Compare” function of the review panel find any differences between the two files and figure out how to best combine them.

The exact use of Track Changes can differ slightly depending on which version of Word you are using, so here are some links to instructions for some common versions of Word:

 

Instructions for Google Docs

Instead of Track Changes, Google Docs uses a similar feature called Suggested Edits. When you share your Google Doc with the Fellows, they can add comments and inline edits that are marked as suggestions rather than permanent changes. Those changes will be outlined in color and will have an attached comment that explains what change was made. To incorporate the Fellow’s suggestion, click on that comment and then click the check mark to accept the revision or the X to remove the change. You do not, of course, need to take all of the Fellow’s suggestions as is, but you should be sure to address each of the issues he/she has pointed out in some way.

For inline edits (i.e., if the Fellow adds a comma, deletes something, or fixes a word), clicking the check mark will make the change permanent, so you won’t need to do much else for those. Generally, though, the Fellow will give an explanation for these edits and may refer you to additional resources on common writing issues. Try to use those suggestions and materials to understand why you are making certain mistakes and learn how to avoid them in the future.

Comments that are not attached to an edit will require a little more thought, since you will need to make more involved changes. Clicking “Resolve” will make the comment go away, but if the comment said to clarify what you mean in a certain sentence, for example, Google Docs won’t do that for you. (Wouldn’t life be so much easier if it did!) Some comments might just be more detailed explanations of a suggested edit, but for most, you’ll need to do whatever the comment suggested. You also have the option to “Reply” to the comment, which you can use to ask a related question, give an explanation of what you are trying to do there, or otherwise communicate with your reviewer. Please be aware, though, that the Fellows will not know you replied unless you resend the document or send an email asking us to take another look at it (in which case, make sure to include the document link to make it easier for us to find it).

More information about using Suggested Edits in Google Docs can be found here.

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