But!

I hope you’ll forgive me for harping on the subject of constructive criticism.

We did some more study on this subject in my last Instructional Delivery class. As teachers, we’re not supposed to use the word “but” when we mark a student’s paper. “However” doesn’t work either.

Well… that’s… just… great.

I already struggle with trying to find nice things to say in poorly written assignments. So how the heck do I transition from that compliment into that all-important, life-changing criticism?

“Just leave it out,” said Prof. Woudsma. “Just leave out the word ‘but.'”

What?! Blasphemy!

I’m a journalist of 20 years. I can’t transition from one statement to another without a transitional word! There must be some kind of compromise. How about “nevertheless,” “regardless,” or “having said this”?

Nope. None of the above will do. I’m to state the compliment (two, if I can), then start another sentence with the constructive criticism.

I don’t like it, but I’ll do it.

I mean, I don’t like it. I’ll do it.

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About teachingteacher

Business communications instructor, journalist, corporate communications writer and media trainer ... and Masters Candidate M.Ad.Ed.
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