Posted on Friday Nov 07, 2008
I recently had been through a case where a student submitted the student's draft for my review of writing two days before a submission deadline. Since I had another more urgent task during the period, the required effort for helping improve the draft to a fine shape "forced" me to stay up the whole night till early morning 5am the submission deadline.
When I tried to recall several past submissions of this student, I found that all these submissions kept me up all night in the morning till last minute before the deadline whereas many other students' drafts were often already ready to submit the night preceding the submission deadline.
I asked myself "why would this situation happen for the student?" For this immediately past submission, in fact the student did a very good job in preparing the abstract, introduction, and approach (high level description) sections early on (for my review of ideas). But the problem is that the student submitted the draft for my review of writing late, only two days before the submission deadline. Several possible reasons may contribute to this late submission: the student might think that the student needed to finish all the sections of writing before asking peer review for writing, or the peer reviewing student needed to finish peer review of all sections of the draft before asking for my review of writing, ...
To avoid these issues (or avoid keeping me up all night till last minute before the paper submission deadline), below is a new set of advice to my students:
Please write early, ask peer review early, and ask for my review of writing early!! Here are some specific things you should do:
(1). You don't need to wait till you have a complete draft (with all sections finished) before requesting peer review. You can submit your partial draft (e.g., one or more completed sections at a time) for peer review.
(2). You don't need to wait till your peer-reviewing student finishes reviewing all the sections of your draft before requesting my review of writing. You can submit your peer-reviewed partial draft (e.g., one or more peer-reviewed sections at a time) for my review of writing. Remind you that I have a policy of being able to review your draft for writing ONLY after a peer student has finished reviewing the writing of your draft and you have fixed the issues pointed out by the peer student. But you don't need to get your peer review done before I can review your draft for the ideas described in the draft to avoid the delay on giving you feedback on the ideas in your draft.
(3). Budget your timeline to allow to ask me to review your writing for multiple iterations (instead of just one time or even 0 time iteration on any portion your writing before the submission).
Of course, it is most important for you to write early following my advice posted earlier!