Identify what you want and learn how to ask for it.
Psychiatrist: That's a great question, yes, I would say figure out what you want and learn how to ask for it.
Lisa: OK. Those are both really hard.
The above quotations are from the movie "How Do you Know." I appreciate this movie psychiatrist's advice as it relates to writing as well. Many writers are intimidated to ask for what they need related to feedback. In fact, it is difficult to know what types of feedback will have a favorable influence on your work. Most of us have experienced that situation where a reader's feedback was tough and caused us to stop writing for a while. The best kind of feedback helps writers to move forward in a writing project. The following suggestions are given to my students so that they can benefit from and give helpful feedback on their class blog projects. They are adapted from Peter Elbow and Pat Belanof's book, Sharing and Responding. New York: Random House, 1989.
TYPES OF FEEDBACK for Blog comments:
I. No Responding: Sharing
1. Just read the blog out loud; see what the words sound like. What is your reaction? (Write this)
II. Descriptive Responding:
Write back in your own words some aspect of the post. But say it more as a question--Are you saying...?
Write the words or phrases that stick in your mind. Which passages/features did you like best? Don't explain why.
What is the main point? Subordinate ones?
5. What's Almost Said or Implied
Explain what is almost said, implied, or hovering around the edges. What would you like to hear more about?"
6. Center of Gravity
What is the source of energy, the focal point, the seedbed, the generative center for this piece
Comment on the Voice, Point of View, Attitude toward Reader, Level of Abstraction/Concreteness; Language, Diction, Syntax
8. Metaphorical Descriptions
Describe the blog in terms of weathers, clothing, colors, animals.
9. Believing and Doubting
Believe or pretend to believe everything that was written. Offer ideas and perceptions to help the case. Then doubt everything that was written. Say arguments that can be made against what was written.
10. Movies of the Mind
Tell the writer what happens inside your head as you read the words in the blog.