Sussex Centre for Language Studies

About us
Preparing for the final submission
Stage 3 Part 2

Welcome to Stage 3 Part 2 of the Academic Writing Guide.
Preparing for the final submission

You can work through the pages in this Stage at your own pace, taking a break whenever you need to. It is not a good idea to try and complete a whole Stage in one go, however, so always follow the advice to Take A Break half way through.
Editing Your Draft and Preparing for Final Submission

Redrafting implies working on writing in order to meet your original writing goal more closely. This final Part of the AWG contains helpful advice and strategies for using feedback to edit your draft.

By now you should have received some feedback on the first draft of your essay from your AD tutor. With this feedback in mind, work through the final Part of the AWG and make any important changes to your essay to get it ready for final submission. Good critical essay writing is shaped by effective planning, is always improved by drafting, and is polished by editing and proofreading. The activities in this final Part of the AWG will help you polish your essay and offer support for the development of other relevant undergraduate academic skills.

Using Tutor and/or Peer Feedback to Improve your Work

Simple task icon
Watch the 2 short videos (1 minute each) below from the University of Sussex Skills Hub, in which Kalim and Veronika talk about how you can use feedback.

• What does each student recommend?
• What questions do you need to ask your tutor about the feedback they have given you?
• What will you do with the feedback you get?

Stop and Reflect logo
When you get feedback on your draft essay you need to:

• Read the feedback to understand how well you’ve done against the assessment criteria being used. If you don’t understand your feedback speak to, or email, whoever gave it. Use your tutor’s office hours!

• Use the feedback to think about how to improve your essay further

These ten comments are typical of those made on students’ essays. If you were to get similar feedback what would you need to do to improve your draft? The questions will help you reflect on your own academic development this year.

1. Doesn’t answer the question

• How can you ensure that your essay is related directly to the title?
• In which of the pre-writing stages would you focus on this?
2. The argument is not clear

• How can you ensure that your position is clear to your reader?
• In which of the pre-writing stages would you focus on this?
3. Better sign-posting needed (including stronger introduction/conclusion)

• What does ‘sign-posting’ mean?
• How can you help your reader follow your argument?
• What should your introduction/conclusion do?
• How can you develop strong structure and organisation in your essay?
• In which of the pre-writing stages would you focus on this?
4. Too descriptive

• Why is this a problem in a discursive essay?
• What can you do at each of the pre-writing stages to avoid this happening?
5. This just re-states what you have read in a book/journal or heard in a lecture

• How can you make sure that your own voice is heard in your essay?
• How can you use your sources/evidence effectively?
• In which of the pre-writing stages would you focus on this?
6. Make greater use of academic sources

• What makes a source ‘academic’?
• At what stage would you need to think about this?
• What is the role of paraphrasing, summarising and quoting?
7. States only one point of view

• Why is it important to acknowledge the counter-argument?
• At what stage would you think about this
8. Lacks critical evaluation

• How can you show evidence of critical evaluation in your essay?
• In which of the pre-writing stages would you focus on this?
9. A range of grammar, spelling and punctuation errors

• Why is it important to proof-read your work?
10. Referencing system not used accurately

• At what stage should you check that your citations are accurate, and that your bibliography is accurately presented?
• Where can you check the detail of the referencing system you are using?

Adapted from: Engaging students with assessment criteria for writing (University of Leicester)

Using the Assessment Criteria

Like all pieces of assessed work on the Foundation Year your final essay will be marked against the 3 categories in the Foundation Year assessment criteria: Knowledge and Understanding, Application and Analysis, Clarity Structure and Expression.
It is important, therefore, that you have a copy of the criteria open while reviewing your feedback and throughout the redrafting process. If you can see how the marking criteria relate to particular parts of your essay you may be able to make important changes that improve your work for the final submission.

Simple task icon
Click on the file below to access a student essay with annotated tutor feedback. (N.B. this essay utilises the Harvard Referencing System).
The tutor has written their feedback to include phrases from the 3 categories of the marking criteria.
Open the marking criteria and try to guess what mark the student has received for Knowledge and Understanding; Application and Analysis; and Clarity Structure and Expression.

Student Essay Annotated Feedback

Assesment criteria B and W

Simple task icon
Click on this file to see the student’s grades and tutor feedback. Did you guess correctly?

Feedback and Marks for Student Essay

Simple task icon
Keep the marking criteria open (or have a print copy to hand) and look at your essay and the feedback your tutor has given you. For each of the 3 marking criteria categories (Knowledge and Understanding, Application and Analysis; Clarity Structure and Expression) show 3 instances of where it has been met in your essay and for each one write a sentence that indicates the extent to which you think you have met it. Is there anything you need to do to improve in each one?

Simple task icon
Being aware of and interpreting tutor feedback is an important skill that will be essential to you throughout your degree. Open this link to the University of Sussex Skills Hub to read some more sample undergraduate essays with tutor feedback. Notice how tutors give feedback, taking different marking criteria into account.

Proof-Reading Your Essay

Proof-reading is the final, technical check for punctuation, spelling, correct referencing (not for content). It is the very last step before you submit your assessed essay. You should work on paper, not on screen to do this.

Before you begin, go to this page on the University of Sussex Skills Hub and scroll down to find the section ‘Can I ask someone else to proofread my work?’.

Idea logo
Study Tips
Look and access the really useful study tips below:
Grammarly is a tool that can help you with proof-reading.

If you need to, check the University of Sussex Skills Hub pages on Referencing.

• Formatting: check the guidance notes on spacing and alignment of text, typeface and margin size in Assessment 1 of this Stage (Stage 3, Part 1).

• If you are using Microsoft Word, Use A-Z sort, Find, and Find and Replace to eliminate common proofreading errors efficiently.

Use the Wordcounter app to see if you are using vocabulary well.

Proofreading checklist

• Is the essay spell checked?
• Have I corrected punctuation and grammar mistakes?
• Have I followed the conventions in textual references, quotations, bibliography, etc?
• Are the pages numbered?
• Have I double-spaced the text?
• Are the margins wide enough for easy reading and tutor comments?
• Are lengthy quotes indented?

Skills hub logo
Open this link to the University of Sussex Skills Hub and watch the 2 short videos (1 minute each) where Kalim and Donna talk about proof-reading (with transcript). Write yourself a list of tips as you listen.

Quiz icon

Handing in Your Essay

You are ready now to submit the final version of your essay for the Academic Development module during Assessment Period 2.

You will need to upload your work to the e-submission point on your Canvas site.

Penalty for late submission:

• Work submitted up to 24 hours late shall incur a penalty deduction of 5 percentage points
• Work submitted after 24 hours and up to 7 days late shall incur a penalty deduction of 10 percentage points
• No work shall be accepted after the 7-day penalty period has elapsed

After the marking, standardisation and moderation process is complete the marks will be released, and you will be able to see your feedback and your grade online.

Notes on Submissions

You are responsible for submitting your work on time and will receive a penalty if you do not (see above). This will have an impact on the final mark for your essay. Please note that you are required to submit to the published submission point on your Canvas site.

Help icon
If you need any help with any aspect of the Academic Writing Guide, or have any questions about this assessment, call in to one of the voluntary drop-in sessions. You can find information about the drop-ins on your Canvas site.
An Academic Development tutor will be able to offer you one-to-one support and advice (you can see the drop-in sessions in your timetable).


Well done - you have completed all of the stages of the Academic Writing Guide!

You will still be able to access this Academic Writing Guide via the Academic Development Canvas site after you have progressed onto your undergraduate programme, and throughout your time at Sussex. The information in the AWG will be a useful reference point as you continue to develop your academic skills in the years to come.

Best of luck!

Back Back

About us