I am in the second year of my Postdoc working with a successful professor. I joined his team just after I obtained my PhD. During my PhD, my advisor (as all advisors) used to proofread my manuscripts and giving me feedback. I felt that I gained experience which led to a good PhD thesis, where no reviewer has requested to change anything before final publication.

With my current supervisor, I feel that I am still a master student, where his feedback is always too much. After several rounds of internal revision (based on his feedback) of a proposal abstract, he sent me back the PDF file completely yellow (highlighted with his comments).

Most of these comments are about the writing style such as "do not use sentence A when you can use sentence B". I don't know whether this is typical supervision, he is exaggerating or I am too bad.

  • Do you and the supervisor have different "native" languages?
    – Buffy
    Commented May 8, 2019 at 13:03
  • None of us is an English native speaker.
    – Yacine
    Commented May 8, 2019 at 13:09
  • And you are both dealing with English as a second (or third or whatever) language?
    – Buffy
    Commented May 8, 2019 at 13:12
  • Yes! as it is the case of most/all researchers in non-native English speaking countries.
    – Yacine
    Commented May 8, 2019 at 13:19

1 Answer 1


Based on comments, I'm going to guess that "yes" he is exaggerating but also that, based on his experience you should consider his advice.

But that doesn't imply that you need to take all of the advice, any more than you need to take any particular bit of advice from a formal reviewer after paper submission.

I'll also guess that his intentions are good, even if he is a bit overwhelming, and that you should just try to make it work between you. You won't be in this position forever and will want his good will when it is time to move on.

I think that the opposite would be worse - no real comments.

Resist if you think he is wrong, of course. But think long term about your career. Learn what you can from him and then go your own way.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .