A reader writes:
I am philosophy student, with an MA, now going through the PhD admissions process. As is the case with all philosophers, my writing benefits greatly from the feedback I receive from others.
I've been fortunate to have two papers published [in reputable but not very top journals]. Both papers began life as seminar papers. Thus, I received a lot of feedback on them from my professors, both substantive comments and copy suggestions.
I imagine it differs from professor to professor, but I'm curious what graduate faculty feel is an appropriate level of feedback/guidance to give when dealing with students trying to getting their work published? I thought of my papers as, say, dissertation chapters, and so, felt like continual engagement with faculty was appropriate. And my professors were more than willing to give thoughtful, and sometimes, line by line feedback. Is this level of engagement to be expected from good, thoughtful professors? (Or, perhaps, is an indication of whether or not a professor is good or thoughtful?) Or is it asking too much? Do professors have any theories on the appropriate level of feedback they give to graduate students? How might they characterize a student too dependent on their feedback?
I'll give my own views, then open this for comments. To start, students should not try to publish seminar papers unless encouraged by the faculty member that the material is publishable. And in such a case, the faculty member should try to assist the student with polishing the paper for publication. Readers? (Submit your comment only once, it may take awhile for them to appear--busy day here!)