Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Two-line Critiques Don't Cut It

There's an ongoing discussion among IWW administrators about critiques, or rather about not counting for participation those critiques that are valueless -- "Great job! Send it off!"

It never hurts to remember we are a group of people who want to be published, have been published, or want to publish in higher-paying or more prestigious markets. That's only possible if our fellow members look upon our every submission with the idea it can be made better.

Here are three links to articles about critiquing:

1] http://homepages.uhwo.hawaii.edu/~writing/critique.htm ---
A critique is a formalized, critical assessment of a text (or other media). It is also a personal response; yet writing a critique is considerably more rigorous than saying that the text is 'great', 'interesting', or 'unsatisfactory'. These are all responses, but they don't illuminate the subject for everyone. Therefore, you have to explain how you arrived at your conclusions."

2] http://www.wcu.edu/writingcenter/isource.asp?page=cwriting.html --
"According to Behrens and Rosen, authors of Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum, 'A critique is not a listing of complaints or faults, but a careful analysis of an argument to determine what is said, how well the points are made, what assumptions underlie the argument, what issues are overlooked and what implications can be drawn from such observation'(37-38). A critique, therefore, is a
personal reaction, an opinion, or an evaluation of what an author has to say."

3] http://www.sfwa.org/writing/hc_critique.htm ---
"When we criticise work, we are commenting for the purposes of publishability, and our goal is to help authors to become publishable and published writers."

And there's this. One long-standing administrator of the IWW said, "Consider the type of critique you've found most useful and model that style."

The Internet Writing Workshop

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