Our knowledge develops over time and in academic publications provide the foundation to communicate relevant findings. Quality is of the essence. In a world where information is often communicated in many formats and with questionable quality, I am convinced that students need to be made aware of the values of proper academic publications. The quality criteria of relevance, comprehensibility, objectivity, conciseness, formal correctness, currentness, and clarity need to be understood. Supervisors of academic publications should share the quality criteria they expect students to fulfill and use these to provide feedback to students and grade their work (academic fairness) prior to students starting their work (step 1 in the development process). Guiding students with feedback during the development process (step 4) and the grading (step 5) benefit from the communication of the quality criteria and expectations early on (figure below outlines the guiding process):
Based on the previously mentioned quality criteria I have developed a system of rules and standardized feedback which may be utilized to facilitate the communication between supervisors and students. It can be used without a word-processing software but for those using Microsoft Word 2016, 2013 or 2010 for Windows and the template Thesis2016E, specific feedback buttons referring to the corresponding pages in this book are offered to simplify the process.
I originally developed this process to be more effective and because I was providing very detailed feedback to reduce my own time consumption. Since 2006 I have used this process to benefit myself and hundreds of my students. They benefit because I can still provide very detailed feedback to them despite the many papers and theses I am grading.
It would be my wish to encourage many faculty around the world to follow this or a similar approach. For that purpose I offer complimentary lecturing slides covering the content of my book "Academic Writing with Microsoft Word 2016" as well as a grading worksheet utilizing the quality criteria. You can download both on this website.
Feel free to share any feedback with me or ask questions related to the material. I am always interested to improve :-)