Receiving And Giving Feedback
Updated: Oct 24
Writing is a process, and all science manuscripts go through many, many, many versions before they are published. Sometimes it's so many that you feel like you can't possibly look at it one more time without closing your laptop (and hopefully not throwing it across the room). That's when you know your manuscript is almost ready to submit.
So, it's really important to be able to receive and to give effective feedback. My advice is to first check your ego at the door. Visualize a little door in your brain, then stuff your ego into that door, shut it, lock it, chain it, duct tape it closed then cover the front with CAUTION tape. What I really mean is that your writing is not a reflection of you as a person. It's really important to dissociate your performance as a scientist from the type of feedback you get. All scientists get tonnes of feedback. It's not always easy to receive it. But the most detailed, honest and critical type of feedback on your writing is truly the best type. It's through the process of receiving and incorporating feedback that your writing improves.
Second, learn a bit about how to give and receive feedback. Think back to when you received feedback that made you more knowledgeable about your own writing (not just the positive feedback that made you feel good, but maybe wasn't so helpful). This is an excellent resource for how to give and receive feedback: https://scwrl.ubc.ca/student-resources/learning-strategies-for-communicating-science/how-to-give-and-receive-effective-feedback/