The days of waiting around for feedback from your professor or Graduate Student Instructor on a midterm paper may soon be over.

Mindbounce.com, a new online company, aims to provide students with the ability to connect with writing professionals around the nation who can provide feedback on students’ writing.

Gordan Speagle, Mindbounce’s quality assurance manager, said he thinks writing isn’t simply a skill that “you either have or you don’t.”

“I think everyone can learn to get feedback and help cultivate their own writing style if they’re given a nurturing environment,” Speagle said. “And I think that’s what Mindbounce offers.”

President and Founder Said Hamideh originally started the company this past August after encountering difficulty finding help for his master’s thesis.

“He felt there should be a service out there that allows people to get feedback from writing professionals who can give them constructive feedback on their paper before they have to turn it in for a grade,” Speagle said.

According to the Mindbounce website, students upload a document and indicate an “academic tag” — subjects ranging from genetics to African studies. A writing mentor who specializes in that academic field then reads the document and provides feedback on content, style or grammar, called “bounces.”

Part of Speagle’s job as quality assurance manager is to make sure these mentors are up to par in their writing abilities. To test these abilities, mentors are asked to rewrite a poorly written essay.

“The essay is the biggest indicator in how well they can write or review something,” Speagle said. “And so after we read the essay, we’ll go over their résumé and then we invite them into the mentor pool.”

According to Speagle, the website employs more than a thousand mentors from places from Germany to Australia and from backgrounds ranging from Ph.D candidates to lawyers.

The company offers 10 free “bounces” for first-time users. However, these free trials also serve as trial runs for new mentors, which Speagle and his team use to evaluate the mentors. If potential members prove strong enough, they become paid mentors.

Students choose the amount of “bounces” they want per essay. Mindbounce’s website advertises that $9.99 translates to “4-5 pieces of crucial feedback.”

Though Speagle said feedback currently takes as long as 12 to 24 hours to return, he said in the future essays will likely take only a few hours to return as business increases and the company expands its mentor pool.

While Speagle said using Mindbounce isn’t necessarily better than going to see a teacher, he said there were some advantages, like receiving feedback from varying sources.

“With the varying mentor perspectives and each one coming from their own educational background, it allows the document to get feedback from multiple people,” he said.

Speagle said while college students are the primary group Mindbounce caters to, the company also hopes to expand to other people in need of writing help.

“Colleges are one area of our target areas, but also I think Mindbounce is really important for people who for whatever reason were not given an adequate education while growing up,” said Speagle.

LSA junior Hilary Markus said she thinks Mindbounce is a “good idea in theory.”

“I don’t know if I would personally use it, but I think a lot of students would take advantage of it,” she said.

First-year Law student Julie Bernard said she currently uses senior judge editors — similar to graduate student instructors — and professors for feedback, but that she would be open to using a service like Mindbounce.

“I think it would be good to have an objective set of eyes on your work,” Bernard said. “I might be worried about the quality of the person that is reading it, but I think to have a second set of eyes that isn’t your friend is a good thing.”

Engineering sophomore Chris Fowlkes said he would consider using Mindbounce for technical papers.

“I’m in engineering, and I’ll be writing a lot of papers based on technical composition,” he said. “That would help a lot just to verify technical things.”

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