This certainly may be appropriate in some cases. The danger it is that you may stop at the first stage and not want to do the harder work of actually critiquing a piece. One thing I always ask myself in responding to a piece of writing is What are the terms of this piece? In other words, what is the writer trying to do? Unfortunately, because the language is so abstract and distanced, the story never engages you.
To critique this story, you go through step No. In this case, the writer might need to try a different approach to the material, such as trying it in third person, rather than simply revise here and there. In another case, you see, for example, that the writer is attempting to be humorous or lighthearted. Those of the terms of the piece. You need to address the piece in light of its terms.
So the questions become, What are the terms of this piece? Does the writer meet them? Here are some useful questions to ask yourself as a reader: 1. Did this engage me? Why or why not?
Did this hold my attention throughout? Where was I most engaged and why? Are any things confusing to me? Could I follow the piece, or were there gaps, or need for more information? What else did I need to know? What about the opening? Did the piece draw me in? How effective is the first sentence and first paragraph and why or why not?
Did I want to keep reading? Do things move along? What is the pace of the piece, and why? Again, come back to the terms of the piece-what is it trying to do and how well does it succeed, and do you question the terms? Subsequent readings will help you develop a global vision of the work's structure and notice additional details. With each reading, you will have a better perspective on the piece's structure, but you will be in a worse position to judge the unfolding of information and to identify points of confusion.
How to Write a Critique: Suggested Critique Format Below is a format that we have found to work well for giving critiques. First, summarize and interpret. At this first stage, you are not judging the piece or offering suggestions. You are just telling the author what you think it is about, and what you think it is trying to do. This is important because it tells the author how well he or she has succeeded in communicating.
It also tells the author if you have understood the piece correctly. If so, the author will take your feedback more seriously. If not, the author knows that any suggestions that follow may actually be based on a misunderstanding of the piece. The author may therefore need to discount these suggestions and work instead on more successfully communicating his or her vision.
Second, say what you think is working well. Positive feedback can be as useful as criticism. Point out the best parts of the piece and the strengths of the author's writing. This can help the author write more "best parts" in the future and develop his or her individual talent. Starting with positive feedback also makes it easier for the author to listen to criticism later without becoming defensive or discouraged. Third, give constructive criticism. Make sure that criticism is respectful and delivered in a form that allows the author to make specific improvements.
Authors tend to have high emotional stakes in their work, and may at some level confuse criticism of a story or a poem for criticism of their talent or vision. It is therefore especially important to make your comments as specific as possible and keep them clearly focused on the piece, rather than the author. Give examples from the piece whenever possible to show your points.
How to Write a Critique: Do's and Don'ts DO: Read the piece several times ahead of time Try to experience the piece as an "ordinary reader" before you consider it as an author or editor Try to understand the author's goals Be specific in your feedback and provide relevant examples DON'T Impose your own aesthetics, tastes, or world view Rewrite the story the way yOU would have written it Discourage the author Offer criticisms that are too general to help the author make specific improvements How to Write a Critique: The Author's Role We suggest that the author try not to talk at all during an oral critique except to ask clarifying questions at the end if the author didn't hear or understand something, he or she can ask the critiquer to repeat or expand on it.
There is a natural tendency for authors to try to explain their work, particularly if they see that the critiquer has not understood it the way they intended. But the author's responses can influence the direction of the critique. The critiquer can end up commenting on the author's explanation of the work, rather than what the author has actually written. The critique can even turn into a debate. How to Write a Critique: Advice on Receiving a Critique If you're on the receiving end of a critique, focus on listening and understanding the feedback you receive.
You don't have to agree with it. You won't have to follow any of the suggestions you're given. In fact, some of the suggestions you get are likely to be not-so-useful. You will have to sort them out from the useful ones and make your own decisions.
But save this sorting-out for later. Otherwise, the sorting-out process will interfere with your ability to listen. And you'll probably do a better job of sorting out the good advice from the bad if you take some time first to digest everything. Take careful notes on ALL the feedback and ask questions if there's something you don't understand. Don't argue with the critiquer or defend your piece. Don't even try to explain it. After the critique, we suggest taking a break before you try to sort the feedback out.
Getting a critique can be hard. Relax a little afterwards. Go out with some friends; watch TV; get a good night's sleep. It will improve your perspective. This break might last twenty-four hours or a couple of weeks -- however long you need to get some emotional distance on the process.Were the names too stereotypical? It should work equally well for online or in person critiquing. I see why it's a bestseller. It also means the author if you have gave the piece correctly. Toward the main characters. Format of the paragraph Was it easy to read or were the teams too long or the lines too blurry not enough margin. Williamson 5.
Every writer has a different voice and approach. How do they use description? Avoid reading the work for the first time immediately before the meeting.
Did we get the chance to interpret what the characters were feeling or did the author just tell us directly? Were there many instancesere of words like "very", "much", "really", "great", or "nice" when a more detailed description would have been more colorful?
Usually writers err on the side of not enough dialogue. How to Write a Critique: Suggested Critique Format Below is a format that we have found to work well for giving critiques.
Did you remember to add some positive comments on the piece, where the author did something you thought was very good? Everything was included, possibly more than college courses can offer. Or did the author leave us hanging, wondering what happened?
Did the author seem to dump a lot of information on the background of a character in one or two long speeches, or did we learn about that character here and there in smaller pieces? Try to give yourself over to the piece. Did the author use too many exclamation points one of my weaknesses? Usually writers err on the side of not enough dialogue. Conflict Does the piece contain conflict?
Always refer to the piece, the sentence, the paragraph, the prose, or the narrative. Read the piece at least once more and take notes again.
Resolution of conflict: Did the conflict and tension in the plots and subplots come to some reasonable ending?
In fact, some of the suggestions you get are likely to be not-so-useful. However, giving critique to other writers isn't just a way of paying people back for the critique they've given you - you can also learn a great deal from analysing other people's writing to find out what works and what doesn't. It could be that the story's just not your thing, but chances are, there will be something in your response that can help make the writing better. But when I think I see a touchdown, I cheer. And you'll probably do a better job of sorting out the good advice from the bad if you take some time first to digest everything. Names help set the tone for a story.
If it sounds unusual, you might suggest that the writer try reading it aloud. The first time I offered feedback to a classmate, I focused on their punctuation and use of passive voice.
In this case, the writer might need to try a different approach to the material, such as trying it in third person, rather than simply revise here and there. As a writer, it helps to be thick-skinned. In an exchange of conversation, can you easily tell who is speaking if you didn't have their names or gender attached to their sentences? If you don't like the result of the revision, you can always trash it and go back to the original version. How to Write a Critique: Advice on Receiving a Critique If you're on the receiving end of a critique, focus on listening and understanding the feedback you receive.