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How to Critique a Creative Writing Assignment

You have been assigned the task of critiquing a creative writing assignment. What do you think are the main strengths and weaknesses of this piece of writing? Be critical, be objective, be analytical. Make it a point to identify what the writerhas done well and what could have been improved upon. You have read the assignment; it is time for you to write your critique. 

Before you start writing your critique, take a step back. The writer might need some help, so you might want to look into the problems that they are facing. You are a friendly stranger, not the teacher, so you should be a bit more delicate in your approach. Also, you should try to be constructive in your criticism. If you don’t feel the need to critique something, then why are you in the position of an assessor in the first place? Finally, make sure that you have all of the information you need before you start writing. You will only end up causing more work for the writer if you don’t have all of the necessary facts about the assignment.

Start With A Friendly Hello

When the writer receives your critique, they will most likely be a bit taken aback. You have been assigned the role of a friendly critic, and you have turned that role into practice by starting off with a friendly hello. The writer might not expect to receive such an informal critique, especially since this is an important assignment for them. However, you have already established yourself in the right way. The writer will appreciate it if you continue in the same manner and avoid being too harsh.

Describe The Assignment In Detail

After you have greeted the writer, you should proceed to describe the assignment in detail. The writer might not have given you all of the information you need to do your job, which is why you are here. They might not even know what their assignment is. You can explain what they need to do and how they need to do it. This will make it easier for you to be objective about their work. In addition, you can also point out what you think are the most critical elements to keep in mind while writing the assignment.

Even though you are a friendly stranger, it is still important to maintain your professional demeanor. You should not be afraid to mention the things you have noticed about their work that could use some improvement. You should not be afraid to point out the things that they have got right either. Remember, they are also a human being and not a piece of cake. You should try to be as gentle and kind as possible while still being honest about their shortcomings. Most importantly, you should focus on what you know and what you see, and you should never, ever make assumptions about the writer based on their gender or background. You never know what kind of circumstance they might be facing, and it is completely irrelevant to your assessment of their work.

Highlight The Positive Aspects Of The Assignment

Once you have described the assignment in detail and pointed out its critical elements, it is time to talk about the more positive aspects of the assignment. This is where you should start even if you are complaining about something. Even though the writer might not expect you to be this generous, you should still try to find at least a few things to praise about their work. The main purpose of your criticism is to help the writer improve their work, and you should always look for the positive. If you cannot find any qualities about the assignment that you like, then maybe it is not a good idea to critique this type of work. They might end up becoming too discouraged to continue with their work and will try to change your mind about the assignment.

Avoid Giving Opinion On Content

Last but not least, we come to the most important rule of critiquing; you should never offer an opinion on the content of the assignment. In other words, you should not judge the quality of the content of the assignment. Even though you have pointed out its many shortcomings, you should not say that the content is bad. You are not a content expert, and you do not have all of the necessary information about the subject matter either. Therefore, it is best to refrain from giving an opinion on the content. This will keep the distance between you and the writer as well as give you a more objective view of their work. While you are there to help, you should not get involved in the subjective aspects of the work, such as the content. Sometimes, the flaws in the writing are so blatant that the content seems almost incidental. In these cases, it might not be a good idea to point out content that you do not feel is pertinent to the assignment. Even though this type of assignment is supposed to be creative, it might still have a lot of factual content that could be irrelevant to your opinion. In these situations, you should just say that the content is not very good and leave it at that.

After you have described the assignment in detail and pointed out its strong and weak aspects, it is now time to give your opinion on this piece of writing. Even though you are an objective party, it might still be difficult to be unbiased when it comes to your own work. You should try to put yourself in the shoes of the writer and see the assignment objectively. In other words, you should be able to look at the assignment and see it as if you were not the author. When you are writing your opinion, you should still be objective about the assignment and not let your personal feelings about the author impact your opinion. You can start by saying something like this:

“I have taken the liberty of examining your work with a critical eye and have noted some areas which could be strengthened and other weaker aspects. I believe that with some polishing, your work could be of very high quality. Your command of the English language is excellent, and I think that with some more practice, you could become one of the best creative writing students at this university.”

After you have written your opinion, it is time to close by thanking the writer for the opportunity to offer constructive criticism and by wishing them good luck with their future work. You should also explain that although you have had some very positive interaction with them so far, this is not a personal attack and that you are still willing to be of assistance should they need it. In other words, you should end your critique on a positive note and show that you have left them with some helpful advice. Even though they might not want to admit it, they will appreciate your comment. This will make you seem like a kind and respectful person, and it is always good to be seen as an asset to a community rather than a burden.

Hopefully, this article will assist you in understanding how to critique a creative writing assignment and will help you write the next assignment well. If you found this article to be helpful, then you should subscribe to our newsletter so that you can receive more such articles and get the most out of your critiques. Also, be sure to check out our online courses; we certainly have a lot to offer when it comes to helping you become the best writer you can be!