Leeds University Library



Using and understanding feedback

At university, it's important to use the feedback you receive to improve your future assignments. We call this feeding forward. Feedback is a vital learning tool which is key to your improvement and development.

Being an independent learner means using the feedback you're given directly, but also being on the look-out for and actively seeking feedback whenever you can. Review and reflect on any feedback you receive, then make an action plan to feed it forward to your next assignment.

Not all your feedback will be written comments on an assignment. There are lots of types of feedback at University, formal and informal, and tutors will use different ways to help guide you to improve your work. Feedback may be verbal in tutorials, seminars or lectures; it could be delivered to a whole group by email, through the VLE or using model answers.

The feedback guide on these webpages looks at 5 feedback areas which are common to many students. They include typical comments from tutors and suggest ways to feed these forward. The five areas are: 

  • Structure and coherence of academic writing: introductions and conclusions, paragraphs, transitions and signposting
  • Research and referencing: selecting and evaluating information, citations and references
  • Criticality and argument: analysis, critical thinking and developing an argument
  • Language and style: using an academic voice, paraphrasing, summarising and using quotations, grammar, spelling and proofreading
  • Understanding and content: analysing and answering the question, demonstrating your understanding of the topic.