I have a lot of respect for my supervisor; I get very good feedback from them, they are very knowledgeable in their field and I feel that they want me to do well in my reseach. When I submit written work, my supervisor adds comments and then returns, which I think is fairly standard procedure.

Short Version: Is it appropriate after receiving comments on written work to respond with: “I’ve addressed 90 of these comments but would like to discuss the remaining 10, which I was unable to resolve.”

Long Version: I find that comments on written work usually fall into the following four categories:

  • The comment is justified and I can resolve and close it. (~90%)
  • The comment asks for clarification of the text. (~4%)
  • The comment is not justified due to them misunderstanding my text, due to my text not having been written in a clear and/or unambiguous enough manner.(~3%)
  • The comment is not justified and the text is clear. (~3%)

For the first two types, I can usually just update my work and move on. It’s the last two that I’m not too sure how to deal with. Do I ignore or flag for discussion (as well as clarifying where relevant)? I have been flagging these but feel that I annoy my supervisor by doing so (likely since they are very busy with other work). The alternative is to ignore but then I worry that my supervisor will notice later that I haven’t applied the change. Another option for the second (and third) bullet is that I clarify my text and move on and I do do this sometimes but on other occasions I feel it requires further discussion in order to convey the correct meaning.

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