When I first received my feedback for Assignment 1, I have to admit I was a bit confused and perhaps, initially, a little disappointed.  However, like some of the academic essays I have been reading, it took me two or three reads to then understand what where my strengths and weaknesses and what I needed to do in order to rectify my assignment and to work on improving certain areas of my learning, which I have listed below along with the ‘positives’ of my assignment feedback   The third time I read my feedback I highlighted all the positives, of which there were many and yet the first time I read it I hadn’t seen them.  I now see that having a professional critique of your work is extremely important and am very grateful for the very positive and helpful advice that I received from my tutor.  Here are a few some of my ‘positives’:

  • A well organised  initial submission (labeled files and link to blog clearly shown). – I was pleased this was noted, I am quite organised, being a personal assistant has trained me to keep things in order.
  • Some really useful points on definitions of art (mainly in its affective ie emotional response)  – I really enjoyed finding out what new words meant in the art world., however I now need to consider the more conceptual and intellectual effect rather than emotional.
  • Some nice expression in your writing and the leading in for the reader – Just seeing this makes me feel I’m doing ok and gives me the inspiration to continue
  • “I don’t know if I am doing any of this right” You’re reflecting on your research so this is right – Again, it’s just great to actually be told that I am doing it right, at least the reflecting side of things, I’m aware there is so much room for improvement but at least on the right track.
  • Nice summarising of some academic points – Such a positive thing for me to know as I have enjoyed finding out about artists and their work and summarising my findings, again I will keep learning and achieve this more affectively.
  • There is some good evidence that you have read critics’ reviews and used the reviews to either contrast with or support your own interpretation of and response to the piece.  –  This is referring to my blog whereby I have linked my research to the various critics reviews and then enjoyed putting my own view forward, I do need to learn the correct referencing though.
  • My Blog: It’s good – I’m very happy with that comment, as I have thoroughly enjoyed documenting my progress, I just need to understand that these are not notes like I write in my hard copy notebook for my own personal viewing and as advised to perhaps write in the third person, although I would find that difficult when I’m writing my own personal notes, so needs further thought.

Overall, I was extremely happy with the strengths that were highlighted and it has given me the confidence to continue and to keep learning and take the advice given.  Areas for development were:

  • Referencing: Work on rigorous referencing using Harvard – I was given an extremely helpful link that clearly states the Harvard referencing way, I have read through the document and highlighted the references commonly used like websites, books and journals.  I need to concentrate on this, as I knew this was something I was struggling with, had very helpful comments from the tutor to rectify this.
  • The beginnings of some useful description of work and making links with others, but it would be useful to see more analysis and some further contextual readings and summaries of this reading in a blog or log – Noted and need to make sure I do this, but still positive comments at the beginning.
  • I would consider making a menu (if possible) of the assignments at the top rather than embedded in the blog to make it easier to navigate – I have to admit this was something I had considered but played it safe and continued with the initial set up.  I have since added a menu tab for the Assignments.
  • Glossary is good, consider making this more critical for example Still life – painting of inanimate objects I would add that the genre is concerned with ‘vanitas’.  I had been using various dictionary answers for my glossary, but I understand it is better to use such websites as ‘The Tate’ or ‘O’Sullivan’ for my complex art terms.
  • Avoid generalised assumptions and back up your interpretations (which are fine) with reference and cite examples – Noted, need to really concentrate on referencing.
  • Question what exactly? – This referred to Part A of the assignment in which I had stated ‘to make you Question’ – so I need to watch out and not make statements like this or to at least say what I was making you question.
  • My Blog – A little hard to navigate – As recommended, I have now made a menu tab containing the assignment instead of down the side and part of the blog.
  • It’s useful to “tell the reader what you are going to tell them” but avoid too much waffle.  I’d rather read straight into your definitions in the intro so introduce the ideas you are talking about rather than say you are going to talk about them – Noted, especially about the waffle bit, something I tend to do.

The feedback I received has given me the confidence to continue in a positive and reflective manner.  I will work on the improvements as advised and follow-up on the suggested reading list.  I feel I need to gain a better understanding of academic writing and glad of the additional links given by my tutor to read up on various  recommend essays.  As recommended I have now familiarised myself with modernist/postmodernist definitions and strategies and with the referencing system for written work using the Harvard Referencing.