Tips for Using WriteLab’s Editor
One sure way to improve your writing is by receiving and using feedback. However, asking someone else for feedback can be awkward or uncomfortable for many people. When we do ask others for feedback, we often receive input like, “Looks great!” which is kind, but not necessarily useful. This is why using WriteLab’s Editor is a great way to receive honest, thorough, and helpful feedback.
WriteLab’s Editor gives you immediate feedback on your writing in four areas: Concision, Clarity, Logic, and Grammar.
Use the following tips to make the best use of WriteLab’s Editor.
1. Start by typing, copying and pasting, or uploading your draft into WriteLab’s Editor.
WriteLab will prompt you to input a title for your work, and you’ll also receive directions about how to enter your work into the app.
Although you can upload writing of any length, it’s best to upload a nice sized draft of your essay (or other piece of writing) into the Editor.
Within 15 seconds, you’ll receive WriteLab’s feedback.
As you can see, this writing sample received 18 suggestions about Concision, 5 on Clarity, 3 concerning Logic, and 4 about Grammar. To view the feedback, click on each individual writing area. For each, WriteLab’s Editor underlines the text of your essay that received a comment.
2. As you review WriteLab’s comments, dismiss any that you feel are unnecessary or unhelpful.
For example, this comment suggests changing the sentence, “These performances are judged and awards are given based on the music performance and general effects of the show,” from passive voice to active voice by specifying who gives the awards.
If you preferred to keep the sentence as is, you would simply click the “X” next to WriteLab’s comment to dismiss it.
As you respond to WriteLab’s suggestions, the software learns to recognize your decisions and eventually customizes your feedback to match your writing style.
If you frequently dismiss comments about passive voice, for instance, the software would begin to recognize this stylistic choice and tailor future comments accordingly.
3. You can also respond to WriteLab’s feedback by asking for additional information or giving feedback of your own.
If you click on the question mark next to one of WriteLab’s comments, you’ll receive two options: “See an example” or “Leave feedback.”
Clicking on “See an example” directs you to WriteLab’s Guide, which gives you in-depth information for each type of feedback offered by the software. This information includes explanations and examples that can help you better understand your feedback and decide if you want to use it.
“Leave feedback” allows you to submit feedback to WriteLab, allowing for continued improvement of the software.
Feedback options allow you to express that a comment can be improved, that you don’t understand a comment, or that you think a comment was helpful. There is also an option for “Other” if your feedback doesn’t fall into one of these categories, and there’s space to type a message.
4. Receive additional feedback by sharing your draft with peers, tutors, or instructors through WriteLab.
Just below the title of your essay or writing sample, you have options to “Add a Note” or “Share Draft.”
You can add a note to leave comments or questions for people who will be reviewing your essay.
To add a note, highlight the piece of text your note will refer to and then click “Add a Note.” A text box titled “New Note” will pop up in the comments panel. Type your comment or question and click “Create.”
When you click “Share Draft,” you’ll be prompted to enter an email address for the WriteLab user you want to review your draft. You can then give your peer, tutor, or instructor permission to view only or to leave comments. You also have the option to type a message for your reviewer.
By sharing your draft, you can view feedback from both the software and from a teacher or friend in one convenient location.
5. Repeat this process as many times as you want.
Once you’ve edited your initial draft, you can click “Analyze Draft” again to create an improved draft and receive new comments from WriteLab.
You can do this an unlimited amount of times to produce the most polished final draft possible.
6. Use WriteLab Analytics to track your progress.
WriteLab Analytics shows you your progress across drafts, including how many comments you’ve addressed—and how you responded to these comments.
Analytics also help you understand your strengths and weaknesses as a writer by displaying graphs that show the distribution of your comments across the WriteLab Editor’s four writing areas.
To view your data, click “My Documents,” select “View All,” and then click the “Analytics” button on the far right. Next, select your draft on the drop-down menu to the left.
By using these tips, you’ll make the most of WriteLab’s Editor and become a better, more confident writer.