Tuesday, February 4, 2014

More Detail about Critiques, and a Group Activity

Still thinking about how to organize your critiques for your assigned classmates? First of all, don't get stressed. Remember that critiques are supposed to be open, honest, and casual. Well, they're less casual than blog posts, because you're trying to help your classmates put together a more effective essay. So, for instance, good basic structure helps a lot. But you're not required to have such a thorough plan, or such a deep thesis, or such careful arguments for your critiques.

Here is a handout, and a group activity, that gives a more detailed picture of how you might structure a critique: 

Here's a personal narrative, written by a former student, that does a lot of things right but also has a number of issues that need attention:

And here are your basic directions for today:

To start, get together with your group, look over the handout above, and assign who will do what (your call). Then, on your own, read the attached essay carefully and make your own notes. Then get back together with your group and start to put together a direct, personal, and honest critique of this student's essay. Address your critique to this student. If necessary, convince him or her what's really going on in the essay, what parts of the essay might need attention, what kind of attention each part needs, and why the issues that you see need to be addressed in the way you suggest.

(Note: Be aware that I've given all of my blog posts that help you to write your own critiques the label, "critiques." Please make use of this label as the semester progresses to get back to this old -- but important -- critique-writing advice.)

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