Learn How to Respond to 10 Types of Essay Feedback

Learn How to Respond to 10 Types of Essay Feedback


Receiving feedback on your essays is an essential part of the learning process. It helps you grow as a writer and understand the areas where you need improvement. However, understanding and responding to different types of feedback can sometimes be challenging. In this article, we will explore ten common types of essay feedback and provide tips on how to effectively respond to each one.

1. “Well done, but this point needs more explanation”

If your instructor tells you that a particular point in your essay needs more explanation, don’t worry! This type of feedback simply means that you have presented a good idea, but it requires further clarification for the reader. To respond effectively, go back to that specific point and expand on it. Provide more examples, evidence, or background information to make your argument more compelling.

2. “It’s unclear how this point relates to your overall argument”

When your feedback suggests that a point in your essay is unclear and doesn’t connect to your overall argument, it’s important to revisit your thesis statement and ensure that all your supporting points are aligned with it. Take the time to rework the section and make sure the connection between your ideas is explicit. This will help your reader follow your train of thought more effectively.

3. “This section seems irrelevant or inappropriate”

When a certain section of your essay is deemed irrelevant or inappropriate, it’s crucial to assess whether it’s truly necessary for your argument. If not, consider removing it altogether. However, if you believe that the section adds value to your essay, try to reframe it or reposition it within the context of your argument. This way, you can demonstrate its relevance and make it more integrated into your overall discussion.

4. “Your essay lacks focus and structure”

When feedback suggests that your essay lacks focus and structure, it means that your ideas are not organized in a logical and coherent manner. To address this, read through your essay and identify the main points or arguments you want to make. Then, create an outline or a structure that helps you present your ideas in a clear and organized way. This will make it easier for your reader to follow your thought process.

5. “There are too many grammatical errors”

If your feedback indicates that your essay is riddled with grammatical errors, take the time to proofread your work thoroughly. Pay attention to grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Consider seeking help from a reliable proofreader or utilizing writing tools that can assist you in catching these errors. A well-written essay with proper grammar can help convey your ideas more effectively.

6. “Your essay is too long/short”

If your feedback states that your essay is either too long or too short, it’s important to consider the purpose and requirements of the assignment. If you have exceeded the word count, review your essay and identify sections that can be condensed or removed without compromising your argument. If your essay is too short, look for areas where you can add more examples, explanations, or evidence to support your claims.

7. “Your essay lacks evidence or examples”

When feedback suggests that your essay lacks evidence or examples, it means that your arguments are not well-supported. Take this opportunity to gather more information, research, or examples to strengthen your claims. Incorporate these additional sources into your essay, making sure they enhance your argument and provide solid evidence for your points.

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9. “Your essay lacks a clear thesis statement”

If feedback highlights that your essay lacks a clear thesis statement, go back to this crucial element and make sure it clearly articulates your main argument. Your thesis statement should guide the entire essay and provide a roadmap for your reader. Revise and refine it until it accurately reflects the direction and purpose of your essay.

10. “Your essay missed the main point of the prompt”

If your feedback suggests that you missed the main point of the essay prompt, take the time to carefully reread the instructions and prompt. Identify where you deviated from the prompt and make the necessary revisions to align your essay with the requirements. It’s important to stay focused on the prompt to ensure that your essay fully addresses the given topic.

By understanding and effectively responding to different types of essay feedback, you can improve your writing skills and produce stronger essays in the future. Remember to take feedback as an opportunity for growth and learning, and always strive to incorporate the suggestions and critiques into your writing process.

Constructive Criticism for Improving Your Writing Skills

Giving Feedback

When receiving feedback on your writing, it’s important to remember that the person giving the feedback is trying to help you improve. Instead of being defensive or dismissive, try to view their suggestions as an opportunity for growth.

Related Statements

If someone says that your ideas are not well-developed or that your arguments lack evidence, it’s important to take this feedback seriously. Consider revisiting your sources and incorporating more specific and relevant information to support your points.

Furthermore, if someone mentions that your thesis is too vague or your paragraphs are not well organized, use this feedback to guide your revisions. Stronger and more clearly defined thesis statements, as well as logical and well-structured paragraphs, can greatly enhance the overall cohesiveness of your essay.

“Confused” or “Inappropriate”

If someone describes your writing as “confused” or “inappropriate”, it’s crucial to identify the specific areas where you may have gone off track. Take the time to analyze your arguments and ensure that they align with your thesis statement. Consider seeking clarification from your instructor or classmates if needed.


If one of the feedback comments suggests that you need to expand or elaborate on a certain point, take this as an opportunity to delve deeper into your topic. This would require additional research and analysis to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the subject matter.

“Very Abstract” or “Lack of Specific Examples”

If someone mentions that your writing is too abstract or lacks specific examples, take this feedback to heart. Adding concrete examples and incorporating real-world scenarios can greatly enhance the clarity and credibility of your arguments.

“Confusing Formatting”

If someone points out issues with the formatting of your essay, such as improper citations or inconsistent referencing, make sure to address these concerns. Formatting plays a crucial role in academic writing, so it’s essential to follow the guidelines and ensure consistency throughout your essay.

“Improved, but still needs work”

If you receive feedback that acknowledges your improvements but suggests that there is still room for growth, don’t be disheartened. Take this feedback as motivation to continue honing your writing skills. Ask for specific areas or examples that need further improvement, and use this feedback to push yourself further.

Addressing Grammar and Punctuation Errors

1. Incorrectly used commas

If you received feedback about incorrectly used commas, take the time to understand what the correct comma usage should be. Commas are essential for indicating pauses, separating ideas, and aiding in the flow of your writing. Consider revising your essay to ensure the proper placement of commas in order to improve the overall readability.

2. Missing apostrophes

Missing apostrophes can create confusion and make your writing appear less professional. If someone pointed out that you forgot to use an apostrophe, go through your essay carefully and identify the places where they should be inserted. Make the necessary corrections to ensure proper grammar and punctuation.

3. Run-on sentences

Run-on sentences are another common issue that can affect the clarity of your writing. If your feedback suggests that you have run-on sentences, consider breaking up long sentences into smaller, more concise ones. This will make your ideas easier to follow and prevent your essay from becoming too dense.

4. Incorrect verb tense

Using an incorrect verb tense can confuse your readers and disrupt the flow of your ideas. If your feedback indicates that you’ve used verb tenses incorrectly, review your essay and make the necessary changes to ensure consistency throughout. Pay close attention to the timing of the events you’re describing and make sure your verb tenses align accordingly.

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5. Lack of subject-verb agreement

A lack of subject-verb agreement can make your writing sound ungrammatical and unprofessional. If your feedback suggests that you have issues with subject-verb agreement, carefully review your sentences and make corrections as needed. Ensure that your subjects and verbs are in agreement in terms of number and person.

6. Inconsistent use of pronouns

If your essay shows inconsistent use of pronouns, it may confuse your readers and make your writing less coherent. Pay attention to the pronouns you’ve used and make sure they align with the intended antecedents. Make any necessary revisions to ensure clarity and cohesiveness in your writing.

7. Lack of proper capitalization

If your feedback points out a lack of proper capitalization, take the time to go through your essay and identify any words that should be capitalized. Proper capitalization is important for indicating the beginning of sentences, proper nouns, and titles. Make the necessary corrections to ensure your essay is well-written and adheres to standard writing conventions.

8. Flawed sentence structure

A feedback regarding flawed sentence structure may suggest that your sentences are too long or poorly constructed. Take the time to analyze your essay and identify any sentences that could be revised for clarity and coherence. Consider using shorter sentences to improve the flow of your ideas and ensure your essay is well-structured.

9. Confusing word choices

If your feedback suggests that some of your word choices are confusing, consider revisiting those areas in your essay. Look for alternative words or phrases that better convey your intended meaning. Strive for clarity and precision in your writing to ensure that your ideas are effectively communicated.

10. Lack of proofreading

If your feedback indicates that your essay has numerous grammar and punctuation errors, it may be a sign that you didn’t properly proofread your work. Before submitting your essay, take the time to carefully read through it multiple times. This will help you identify and correct any mistakes that were overlooked during the writing process.

Addressing grammar and punctuation errors is crucial for enhancing the overall quality of your essay. By carefully considering and implementing the feedback you receive, you can improve your writing skills and produce a well-crafted and polished piece of work.

Revising Weak Arguments and Providing Supporting Evidence

In order to revise weak arguments, you should begin by reexamining the main points you are trying to make. Ask yourself what you really mean and whether you have provided enough evidence to support your claims. It is important to be clear and specific in your arguments and back them up with examples, facts, or research.

One weakness often pointed out by feedback is that the essay lacks specific examples. If you find that your arguments are too abstract or generalized, try to provide concrete examples to make your point more clear and convincing. This could involve using real-life scenarios, statistics, or case studies to illustrate the validity of your arguments.

Another weakness that feedback may highlight is a lack of focus. If your essay starts off strong but then goes off on a tangent or loses its main idea along the way, it is important to revise and ensure that your arguments are consistently related to your main thesis. By staying focused on your main idea, you can provide a more cohesive and impressive argument.

Grammar and clarity are also important factors to consider when revising your arguments. Feedback that points out unclear or vague remarks should not be overlooked. Make sure that your ideas are presented in a clear and organized manner, using proper grammar and sentence structure. This will help your arguments come across as more persuasive and effective.

While feedback can sometimes be tough to receive, it is important to remember that it is meant to help you improve. Revising weak arguments and providing supporting evidence should be a priority in order to strengthen the overall quality and impact of your essay. By paying attention to feedback and making the necessary revisions, you can create a more focused, compelling, and effective essay that will leave a lasting impression on your reader.

Responding to Feedback on Organization and Structure

1. Lack of a Clear Thesis

If the feedback suggests that your essay lacks a clear thesis statement, take this opportunity to revisit your main argument and make it more explicit. Make sure your thesis statement is concise, specific, and encompasses the main point you want to make in your essay.

2. Weak Organization

If you receive feedback about weak organization, address this by clearly outlining your main points and providing sufficient evidence to support each point. Use topic sentences and transitions to guide the reader through your essay and ensure a logical flow.

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3. Overuse of Evidence

If the feedback suggests that you are relying too heavily on evidence without properly analyzing or connecting it to your main argument, you must find a balance. Remember that evidence should be used to support your points, but you should also provide analysis and explanation to show how the evidence supports your thesis.

4. Lack of Coherence

If your essay lacks coherence and the feedback points this out, revise your essay to ensure that your paragraphs and ideas flow smoothly from one to another. Use transitional words and phrases to create a logical progression of ideas.

5. Inappropriate Paragraph Length

If the feedback suggests that your paragraphs are too long or too short, adjust your paragraph length to ensure each paragraph focuses on one main point or idea. This will help the reader follow your argument more easily.

6. Confusing or Incorrect Use of Grammar

If the feedback highlights issues with grammar, take the time to review the rules of grammar and proofread your essay carefully. Seek assistance from grammar resources or consider consulting a writing tutor to improve your grammar skills.

7. Lack of Focus on the Main Argument

If the feedback indicates that you have strayed from your main argument or have not given it enough attention, revise your essay to ensure that every paragraph and piece of evidence is directly related to your main thesis. Eliminate any irrelevant or tangential information.

8. Insufficient Citations or Examples

If you receive feedback suggesting that you need more citations or examples to provide support for your argument, go back and revise your essay to include additional evidence. Be sure to properly cite your sources and use examples that are relevant and effective.

10. Failure to Address Alternative Views

If the feedback suggests that you haven’t adequately addressed alternative views or counterarguments, revise your essay to acknowledge and respond to these perspectives. Incorporating alternative views shows that you have considered different perspectives and strengthens your overall argument.

Overall, feedback on organization and structure is valuable for improving the clarity and effectiveness of your essay. Embrace this feedback as a learning opportunity and use it to make your writing stronger and more compelling.

Great job on clearly stating your thesis. It provides a clear direction for the essay.Thank you for the positive feedback! I worked hard to ensure that my thesis was concise and focused.
The organization could be improved. Consider breaking down your main points into separate paragraphs to enhance clarity.Thank you for the suggestion. I will revise my essay to ensure that each paragraph focuses on one main point or idea.
Your sentences are too long and it makes it difficult to follow your argument.Thank you for pointing that out. I will work on breaking down my sentences to improve readability.
Good job using evidence to support your points. However, make sure you are analyzing the evidence and connecting it back to your main argument more effectively.Thank you for the feedback. I will revise my essay to provide more analysis and ensure that the evidence directly supports my thesis.
The grammar in your essay needs improvement. Consider using grammar resources or seeking assistance from a writing tutor.Thank you for the suggestion. I will review the rules of grammar and proofread my essay carefully to address any grammar issues.


What should I do if my essay is marked as “misses the point”?

If your essay is marked as “misses the point”, it means that you did not address the main argument or question of the essay prompt. In order to improve, you should carefully read the prompt and make sure that you understand what is being asked. Then, tailor your essay to directly answer the question or address the argument.

Can you give me an example of an essay that misses the point?

Sure! An example of an essay that misses the point would be if the essay prompt asks you to discuss the impact of climate change on the environment, but your essay focuses solely on the factors contributing to climate change. In this case, your essay would miss the point because it does not address the impact on the environment as specifically requested.

What can I do to prevent my essay from missing the point?

To prevent your essay from missing the point, it is important to carefully read and understand the essay prompt before you begin writing. Take note of the main argument or question being asked, and make sure that your essay answers that specific prompt. You can also outline your essay beforehand to ensure that you are covering all the necessary points and staying on track.

How can I determine if my essay misses the point?

You can determine if your essay misses the point by comparing it to the main argument or question of the essay prompt. Read your essay carefully and critically evaluate whether it directly addresses the prompt or argument. If there are any major deviations or omissions from the prompt, it is likely that your essay misses the point.

What should I do if my essay is marked as “misses the point” multiple times?

If your essay is marked as “misses the point” multiple times, it is important to reflect on why this may be happening. Are you misinterpreting the essay prompt? Are you not fully understanding the main argument or question being asked? Take the feedback as an opportunity to revise your approach to the essay and seek help or clarification if needed.

What should I do if my essay misses the point?

If your essay misses the point, you should carefully read the feedback and identify the main issue. Once you have understood the problem, revise your essay accordingly to address the specific point you missed. It can be helpful to seek additional clarification from your instructor if necessary.

How can I improve my essay if it is missing the main argument?

If your essay is missing the main argument, take time to analyze the feedback and identify what aspect of the argument you failed to address. Once you have identified the gap, revise your essay to clearly state and support the main argument. Review your supporting evidence and make sure it aligns with the central point you are trying to make.

Alex Koliada, PhD

By Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for studying aging, genetics, and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics. His scientific research has been published in the most reputable international magazines. Alex holds a BA in English and Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California, and a TEFL certification from The Boston Language Institute.