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Guidelines for Critique

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Saved by David Walter
on June 21, 2020 at 7:42:21 pm

Guidelines & Suggestions for Critique 



1. This is a safe space where our work, commentaries, and responses remain confidential. The work of another shouldn’t be shared outside of the group without the writer/artist’s consent, and only when the writer/artist finalizes the work and determines he/she wishes it to be shown.


2. Approach your own writing and others’ as a works-in-progress, amenable to comment and revision. 


3. As you read, note places where you’re uncertain, technical questions that you may have, and passages you wonder about or are particularly moved by.


4. In your comments, be honest and sensitive. Try to identify precisely how the work affected you as you read it. 


5. Instead of focusing on what you perceive as flaws, focus on the strengths of the piece. Try not to use the word “problem.” Ever.


6. Ask questions. Questions, respectfully posed, can be useful ways to highlight legitimate concerns or areas where you feel the piece could use more work. 


7. Consider the following questions and issues when you are responding to the work:


  • What do you notice in the piece? Consider beginning your comments with “I notice…” 
  • What stays with you about the piece? 
  • What moves you most?
  • What is the piece doing most effectively?
  • What is the piece “about”? What is it responding to? What story is it telling?
  • What in the work do you find thought provoking? What problems, ideas, or questions are being raised by the piece?
  • How are the formal elements working in the piece? Consider the elements we are focusing on each week come into play.



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