Revised Critique Guideline effective 1/24/2018

Format for Submission of work to be critiqued:

  • Typed as a Word document:
    • Paperpage 8.5 x 10,
    • Orientation – Portrait
    • 1 inch margins – top, bottom, left, right
    • 3 pages maximum
  • no formatted headers or indention (use 5 spaces to distinguish between paragraphs)
  • align to left margin, single spaced, single column, single sided
  • Times New Roman, black ink, 12 point font, no page numbers
  • title of manuscript and name (in this order) at upper left of first page
  • staple pages, submit in large envelope with your name on front, upper left corner
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Sample Manuscript 1st Page

Suggestions for providing feedback:

Use the following forms for guild critiques. These forms are guidelines for in class reviews. The form can be hand written or typed.

Story Form: RWGCritiqueStory20180124

Poem Form: RWGCritiquePoem20180124

Special skills are not required to critique another’s writhing, however, providing critique input can be intimidating. The following tips come from the North Carolina Writing Center. (Check out their website for additional information on writing topics.)

  • Say something positive about the piece. Even if it needs a lot of work it might have the seeds of a great idea, a particularly well-turned phrase, good organizational structure, or a thorough understanding of the material.
  • Critique the writing, to the writer. Say “The conclusion didn’t work for me.” not “You aren’t good at conclusions.”
  • Speak from your own perspective. Use phrases like “My reaction was…” or “I found that..” Acknowledge that there may be a variety of opinions about the piece.
  • Remember that you are in a writing group to help each other improve. It does not help the writer if you see problems and don’t mention them. Most writers would rather hear about issues from a friendly, supportive writing group than submit a finished draft with problems.
  • Talk about the way you responded as you were reading. (Reference the first few critique review form question.)
  • Be specific. Instead of just saying, “The organization needs work,” try to determine where and why the organization broke down. Offer suggestions if you can.
  • Whatever you say, imagine yourself on the receiving end of the comment. If this were your work, what would be helpful to you? How would you want people to provide you with criticism?
  • Prioritize and sort your comments for the writer. What interfered the most when you read the paper, or what was the hardest part to understand? Sometimes it is helpful to break down your comments into “big” and “small” things the writer could do to improve.
  • Tailor your comments to the writer and his/her needs. Ask what kind of feedback would be helpful and try to provide that. Is there a section the writer is most concerned about?