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Writing a Critique Paper: Seven Easy Steps

Were you assigned or asked by your professor to write a critique paper? It’s easy to write one. Just follow the following four steps in writing a critique paper and three steps in presenting it, then you’re ready to go.

One of the students’ requirements I specified in the course module is a critique paper. Just so everyone benefits from the guide I prepared for that class, I share it here.

To standardize the format they use in writing a critique paper, I came up with the following steps to make their submissions worthwhile.

Since they are graduate students, more is expected of them. Hence, most of the verbs I use in writing the lesson’s objectives reside in the domain of higher thinking skills or HOTS. Developing the students’ critical thinking skills will help them analyze future problems and propose solutions that embody environmental principles thus resonate desirable outcomes aligned with the goal of sustainable development.

Table of Contents

Step-by-step procedure in writing a critique paper.

I quickly wrote this simple guide on writing a critique paper to help you evaluate any composition you want to write about. It could be a book, a scientific article, a gray paper, or whatever your professor assigns. I integrated the essence of the approach in this article.

The critique paper essentially comprises two major parts, namely the:

1) Procedure in Writing a Critique Paper, and the

2) Format of the Critique Paper.

First, you will need to know the procedure that will guide you in evaluating a paper. Second, the format of the critique paper refers to how you present it so that it becomes logical and scholarly in tone.

The Four Steps in Writing a Critique Paper

Here are the four steps in writing a critique paper:

To write a good critique paper, it pays to adhere to a smooth flow of thought in your evaluation of the piece. You will need to introduce the topic, analyze, interpret, then conclude it.

Introduce the Discussion Topic

Introduce the topic of the critique paper. To capture the author’s idea, you may apply the  5Ws and 1H approach  in writing your technical report.

That means, when you write your critique paper, you should be able to answer the Why , When , Where , What , Who , and How questions. Using this approach prevents missing out on the essential details. If you can write a critique paper that adheres to this approach, that would be excellent.

Here’s a simplified example to illustrate the technique:

The news article by John Doe was a narrative about a bank robbery. Accordingly, a masked man  (Who)  robbed a bank  (What)  the other day  (When)  next to a police station  (Where) . He did so in broad daylight  (How) . He used a bicycle to escape from the scene of the crime  (How) . In his haste, he bumped into a post. His mask fell off; thus, everyone saw his face, allowing witnesses to describe him. As a result, he had difficulty escaping the police, who eventually retrieved his loot and put him in jail because of his wrongdoing  (Why) .

Hence, you give details about the topic, in this case, a bank robbery. Briefly describe what you want to tell your audience. State the overall purpose of writing the piece and its intention.

Is the essay written to inform, entertain, educate, raise an issue for debate, and so on? Don’t parrot or repeat what the writer wrote in his paper. And write a paragraph or a few sentences as succinctly as you can.

Analyze means to break down the abstract ideas presented into manageable bits.

What are the main points of the composition? How was it structured? Did the view expressed by the author allow you, as the reader, to understand?

In the example given above, it’s easy to analyze the event as revealed by the chain of events. How do you examine the situation?

The following steps are helpful in the analysis of information:

  • Ask yourself what your objective is in writing the critique paper. Come up with a guidepost in examining it. Are you looking at it with some goal or purpose in mind? Say you want to find out how thieves carry out bank robberies. Perhaps you can categorize those robberies as either planned or unplanned.
  • Find out the source, or  basis, of the information that you need. Will you use the paper as your source of data, or do you have corroborating evidence?
  • Remove  unnecessary information  from your data source. Your decision to do so depends on your objective. If there is irrelevant data, remove it from your critique.

We can use an analogy here to clearly explain the analysis portion.

If you want to split a log, what would you do? Do you use an ax, a chainsaw, or perhaps a knife? The last one is out of the question. It’s inappropriate.

Thus, it would be best if you defined the tools of your analysis. Tools facilitate understanding and allow you to make an incisive analysis.

Read More : 5 Tools in Writing the Analysis Section of the Critique Paper

Now, you are ready to interpret the article, book, or any composition once the requisites of analysis are in place.

Visualize the event in your mind and interpret the behavior of actors in the bank robbery incident. You have several actors in that bank heist: the robber, the police, and the witnesses of the crime.

While reading the story, it might have occurred to you that the robber is inexperienced. We can see some discrepancies in his actions.

Imagine, his mode of escape is a bicycle. What got into him? Maybe he did not plan the robbery at all. Besides, there was no mention that the robber used a gun in the heist.

That fact confirms the first observation that he was not ready at all. Escaping the scene of the crime using a bicycle with nothing to defend himself once pursued? He’s insane. Unimaginable. He’s better off sleeping at home and waiting for food to land on his lap if food will come at all.

If we examine the police’s response, they were relatively quick. Right after the robber escaped the crime scene, they appeared to remedy the situation. The robber did not put up a fight.

What? With bare knuckles? It makes little sense.

If we look at the witnesses’ behavior, we can discern that perhaps they willingly informed the police of the bank robber’s details. They were not afraid. And that’s because the robber appears to be unarmed. But there was no specific mention of it.

Narrate the importance of each of the different sections or paragraphs. How does the write-up contribute to the overall picture of the issue or problem being studied?

Assess or Evaluate

Finally, judge whether the article was a worthwhile account after all. Did it meet expectations? Was it able to convey the information most efficiently? Or are there loopholes or flaws that should have been mentioned?

Format of Presenting the Critique Paper

The logical format in writing a critique paper comprises at least three sections: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. This approach is systematic and achieves a good flow that readers can follow.

Introduction

Include the title and name of the author in your introduction. Make a general description of the topic being discussed, including the author’s assumptions, inferences, or contentions. Find out the thesis or central argument , which will be the basis of your discussion.

The robbery example appears to be inappropriate to demonstrate this section, as it is so simple. So we level up to a scientific article.

In any scientific article, there is always a thesis that guides the write-up. A thesis is a statement that expresses what the author believes in and tries to test in his study. The investigation or research converges (ideally) to this central theme as the author’s argument.

You can find the thesis in the paper’s hypothesis section. That’s because a hypothesis is a tentative thesis. Hypo means “below or under,” meaning it is the author’s tentative explanation of whatever phenomenon he tackles.

If you need more information about this, please refer to my previous post titled “ How to Write a Thesis .”

How is the introduction of a critique paper structured? It follows the general guidelines of writing from a broad perspective to more specific concerns or details. See how it’s written here:  Writing a Thesis Introduction: from General to Specific .

You may include the process you adopted in writing the critique paper in this section.

The body of the paper includes details about the article being examined. It is here where you place all those musings of yours after applying the  analytical tools .

This section is similar to the results and discussion portion of a scientific paper. It describes the outcome of your analysis and interpretation.

writingacritiquepaper

In explaining or expressing your argument, substantiate it by citing references to make it believable. Make sure that those references are relevant as well as timely. Don’t cite references that are so far out in the past. These, perhaps, would not amount to a better understanding of the topic at hand. Find one that will help you understand the situation.

Besides, who wants to adopt the perspective of an author who has not even got hold of a mobile phone if your paper is about  using mobile phones to facilitate learning during the pandemic caused by COVID-19 ? Find a more recent one that will help you understand the situation.

Objectively examine the major points presented by the author by giving details about the work. How does the author present or express the idea or concept? Is he (or she) convincing the way he/she presents his/her paper’s thesis?

Well, I don’t want to be gender-biased, but I find the “he/she” term somewhat queer. I’ll get back to the “he” again, to represent both sexes.

I mention the gender issue because the literature says that there is a difference in how a person sees things based on gender. For example, Ragins & Sundstrom (1989) observed that it would be more difficult for women to obtain power in the organization than men. And there’s a paper on gender and emotions by Shields et al. (2006) , although I wouldn’t know the outcome of that study as it is behind a paywall. My point is just that there is a difference in perspective between men and women. Alright.

Therefore, always find evidence to support your position. Explain why you agree or disagree with the author. Point out the discrepancies or strengths of the paper.

Well, everything has an end. Write a critique paper that incorporates the  key takeaways  of the document examined. End the critique with an overall interpretation of the article, whatever that is.

Why do you think is the paper relevant in the course’s context that you are taking? How does it contribute to say, the study of human behavior (in reference to the bank robbery)? Are there areas that need to be considered by future researchers, investigators, or scientists? That will be the knowledge gap that the next generation of researchers will have to look into.

If you have read up to this point, then thank you for reading my musings. I hope that helped you clarify the steps in writing a critique paper. A well-written critique paper depends on your writing style.

Read More : How to Write an Article with AI: A Guide to Using AI for Article Creation and Refinement

Notice that my writing style changes based on the topic that I discuss. Hence, if your professor assigns you a serious, rigorous, incisive, and detailed analysis of a scientific article, then that is the way to go. Adopt a formal mode in your writing.

Final Tip : Find a paper that is easy for you to understand. In that way, you can clearly express your thoughts. Write a critique paper that rocks!

Related Reading

Master Content Analysis: An All-in-One Guide

Ragins, B. R., & Sundstrom, E. (1989). Gender and power in organizations: A longitudinal perspective. Psychological bulletin , 105 (1), 51.

Shields, S. A., Garner, D. N., Di Leone, B., & Hadley, A. M. (2006). Gender and emotion. In Handbook of the sociology of emotions (pp. 63-83). Springer, Boston, MA.

© 2020 November 20 P. A. Regoniel

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About the author, patrick regoniel.

Dr. Regoniel, a faculty member of the graduate school, served as consultant to various environmental research and development projects covering issues and concerns on climate change, coral reef resources and management, economic valuation of environmental and natural resources, mining, and waste management and pollution. He has extensive experience on applied statistics, systems modelling and analysis, an avid practitioner of LaTeX, and a multidisciplinary web developer. He leverages pioneering AI-powered content creation tools to produce unique and comprehensive articles in this website.

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How to Write a Critique Paper: Guide + Steps & Tips

Critical thinking is an essential life skill taught in academia. Critique essays help us develop this skill. However, it’s challenging to figure out how to write one independently. Our team has created this comprehensive guide to teach you how to express opinions in an academically correct manner. Here, you’ll discover step-by-step guidelines to help you write an essay. We’ve also addressed the proper essay critique format structure and provided several practical examples of how it should look. So, if you are interested and wish to learn more, start reading ASAP!

📃 What Is a Critique Paper?

  • 🔍 Critique Essay Types
  • 🥇 Critique Essay Topics
  • 🗝 How to Write a Critique Paper
  • 📝 Format & Structure
  • 🏆 Critique Paper Examples

🔗 References

A critique paper is a piece of writing that provides an in-depth analysis of another work. These include books, poems, articles, songs, movies, works of art, or podcast episodes. Aside from these, a critique may also cover arguments, concepts, and artistic performances. For example, a student may evaluate a book they’ve read or the merit of the First Amendment.

In a critique essay , one addresses the subject of the analysis, its source, intent, and purpose, in addition to its structure and content. You may present your own opinion on the analyzed work or include alternative points of view. Your paper can consist of an interpretation of what a piece of work means and an assessment of its worth.

🔍 Discover All Critique Essay Types

Now, we will detail everything you need to know about the main types of critique papers. Use the table below to determine which one will suit your essay best.

The three different types of critique papers.

🥇 19 Best Critique Essay Topics

This segment has some of the best topics for critical essays that you can use in your assignments. Make sure to look through them and find some inspiration! Some of them are sure to catch your attention.

  • Analyze the effectiveness of the justice system in curbing drug use.
  • Why are people reluctant to change their views on the Second Amendment?
  • Critical review of the moral lessons in contemporary young adult novels.
  • Is critical thinking still relevant in the modern world?
  • Analyze the health effects of fast food on the human body.
  • Describe the effects of racism on underrepresented groups.
  • Build a case for the causes of the homeless crisis in the US.
  • Unraveling motivational factors: a critique of psychological theories in the workplace.
  • Analyze the shifting of gender roles in modern society.
  • What is the impact of corruption on the economy?
  • The impact of setting and atmosphere on the reader’s experience of a book.
  • Investigate the role of mass media in decreasing racial tension in the US.
  • Analyze the use of symbolism and imagery in Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories.
  • Ethical dilemmas in medical study: critical analysis of journal articles on human trials.
  • Which themes are the most common in current TV shows?
  • Explain how fashion choices impact one’s identity.
  • Build a case for a free higher education.
  • What are the effects of social media on human communication?
  • From page to screen: A comparative critique of the book and movie versions of The Lord of the Rings.

🗝 How to Write a Critique Paper: 5 Key Steps

We recognize that tackling a critique paper without proper guidance can be time-consuming and daunting. That’s why we have outlined the steps you should take to make a detailed plan for your future essay. These five steps will guide you in analyzing work successfully and creating quality papers.

The 5 steps for writing a critique essay.

  • Explore the work. Before writing your essay, carefully examine the text you will be critiquing. Take notes relevant to your paper’s topic along the way. Pay attention to details and try noting the strengths and weaknesses of a piece of work.
  • Conduct research. Aside from inspecting the work itself, you should also thoroughly study the surrounding context. Learn everything relevant about its author, background, and cultural and historical factors. So, you will receive essential information about the research subject, allowing you to understand it better.
  • Create a thesis statement. This part usually includes a concise summary of the analysis of the work and conducted research. Students must carefully write their thesis statements to present their main argument or the work’s brief evaluation.
  • Write the critical paper. After you have composed a solid thesis statement, it’s time to write your essay. Begin by providing background data in the introductory paragraph. Follow with analysis and evidence that supports the paper’s intent. Finish with a conclusion that gives a summary of the key points and reinforcing the thesis statement.
  • Edit and revise to perfection. When you have the first draft, carefully review and edit its segments. See if the paper is structurally sound, easy to follow, and has a coherent format. Good writing provides its arguments logically, with clear connections between evidence and analysis. Pay close attention to segments that make you stumble and reread all sentences twice.

📝 Critique Paper Format & Structure

Before attempting to write your critique essay, you should familiarize yourself with its structure and form. We’ll examine each part in-depth and describe which elements they should have. It will give you an idea of how to structure your essay correctly.

Examining each component is essential after you get acquainted with the basic structure of a critique paper. We have detailed for you below.

Critique Essay: Introduction

You probably already know how essential the introduction is in a critique paper. This is why it’s vital to understand its proper structure. One should consider all elements that must be present in this part of the paper.

  • Provide the name of the critiqued work, when it was first published, and by whom.
  • Describe the thesis statement or the main idea of the paper.
  • Give the context of the work, political or social, and its importance in a discipline or an academic field.
  • Finish with a sentence that briefly evaluates the examined work and transitions into the main body.

Critique Essay: Main Body

We’ve finally arrived at the analysis, the most crucial part of creating a critique. Here, we’ll look at the structure of the main body paragraphs . This part of the article will explain what to include in your critical paper.

The body starts with a summary that explains:

  • The main points of the work.
  • How the points were achieved through characters, symbols, and various techniques.
  • The aim of the research, how it was conducted, and based on what.

The rest of the body is a detailed critical evaluation of the work that includes:

  • A systematic and thorough approach to assessing different elements.
  • An assessment of the author’s ability or lack thereof to achieve their goals with these components.
  • Supporting evidence for your arguments and evaluation.

Questions to answer while writing a critique essay.

Critique Essay: Conclusion

Lastly, let’s consider the conclusion of your critique paper. It is the time to summarize and reiterate what you have discussed in your work. An essay conclusion should contain the following elements:

  • A concise statement that summarizes the entire work.
  • A rundown of key points identified and covered in the evaluation.
  • If necessary, the conclusion may provide recommendations for others interested in getting acquainted with the work.

🏆 Great Critique Paper Examples

We believe a good sample is one of the best aids in writing a quality essay. After all, theory can be insufficient and it’s best to see something done in practice. We’ve provided several great essay examples below for you to consider.

  • Critique Against Orwell’s Style in “Animal Farm.” Orwell’s Animal Farm is a witty commentary on society and the cycle of power. To this day, the work is one of the strongest anti-Stalinist novels. Despite its themes, one of his most famous novels is often criticized for its mediocre writing style. This essay wants to advocate for this opinion through literary analysis.
  • Critique of an Adidas Promotional Strategy. Adidas is one of the world’s most fabulous clothes, shoes, and equipment producers. The corporation registers hundreds of patterns on new tech for its products every year. But this doesn’t mean that Adidas does everything right. This paper demonstrates the unethical practices the company uses in its advertising campaigns.
  • A Reader Response Critique of “A Rose for Emily.” Written in 1892, The Yellow Wallpaper is a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It talks about the role of women in the late 1800s. Back then, they were regarded as passive individuals who couldn’t think independently. This paper critically examines the text’s effectiveness as a psychological horror story.
  • Organizational Personnel Policy Critique. Personnel management covers many aspects of a company’s daily operations. It helps create a harmonious work environment that benefits all participants. However, some of the current policies are outdated and need to be adjusted. This paper critically analyzes policies that drive and evaluate performance. It also shows which changes can be applied to standard HR guidelines.

We are confident that our tips and instructions will make it easier for you to achieve great results. Besides, you can try our helpful essay topic maker to come up with writing ideas! Consider forwarding this article to your friends who may be looking for a quality guide on critical papers.

  • What Makes a Critique a Critique? – Tara Horkoff, Writing for Success, OpenTextBC
  • How to write a critique – CiteWrite, Queensland University of Technology
  • Writing a Critique – Tiffin University, Pfeiffer Library
  • Writing a Critique Paper: Seven Easy Steps – Patrick A. Regoniel, Simple Educate
  • How to Write a Critical Analysis Essay – Dan Brown, MasterClass

How to Write a Critique Paper: Format, Tips, & Critique Essay Examples

A critique paper is an academic writing genre that summarizes and gives a critical evaluation of a concept or work. Or, to put it simply, it is no more than a summary and a critical analysis of a specific issue. This type of writing aims to evaluate the impact of the given work or concept in its field.

Want to learn more? Continue reading this article written by Custom-writing experts! It contains:

  • best tips on how to critique an article or a literary work,
  • a critique paper example with introduction, body, and conclusion.

💁 What Is a Critique Paper?

  • 👣 Critical Writing Steps

👀 Critical Essay Types

📝 critique paper format, 📑 critique paper outline, 🔗 references.

A critique is a particular academic writing genre that requires you to carefully study, summarize, and critically analyze a study or a concept. In other words, it is nothing more than a critical analysis. That is all you are doing when writing a critical essay: trying to understand the work and present an evaluation. Critical essays can be either positive or negative, as the work deserves.

👣 How to Write a Critique Essay: Main Steps

Starting critique essays is the most challenging part. You are supposed to substantiate your opinion with quotes and paraphrases, avoiding retelling the entire text. A critical analysis aims to find out whether an article or another piece of writing is compelling. First, you need to formulate the author’s thesis: what was the literary work supposed to convey? Then, explore the text on how this main idea was elaborated. Finally, draft your critique according to the structure given below.

Critical Writing Steps Include: Critical Reading, Analyzing the Text, and Making the Draft.

Step 1: Critical Reading

1.1. Attentively read the literary work. While reading, make notes and underline the essentials.

  • Try to come into the author’s world and think why they wrote such a piece.
  • Point out which literary devices are successful. Some research in literary theory may be required.
  • Find out what you dislike about the text, i.e., controversies, gaps, inconsistency, or incompleteness.

1.2. Find or formulate the author’s thesis. 

  • What is the principal argument? In an article, it can be found in the first paragraph.
  • In a literary work, formulate one of the principal themes, as the thesis is not explicit.
  • If you write a critique of painting, find out what feelings, emotions, or ideas, the artist attempted to project.

1.3. Make a summary or synopsis of the analyzed text. 

  • One paragraph will suffice. You can use it in your critique essay, if necessary.
  • The point is to explore the gist.

Step 2: Analyzing the Text

After the reading phase, ask yourself the following questions :

  • What was your emotional response to the text? Which techniques, images, or ideas made you feel so?
  • Find out the author’s background. Which experiences made them raise such a thesis? What other significant works have they written that demonstrate the general direction of thought of this person?
  • Are the concepts used correctly in the text? Are the references reliable, and do they sufficiently substantiate the author’s opinion?

Step 3: Drafting the Essay

Finally, it is time to draft your essay. First of all, you’ll need to write a brief overview of the text you’re analyzing. Then, formulate a thesis statement – one sentence that will contain your opinion of the work under scrutiny. After that, make a one-paragraph summary of the text.

You can use this simple template for the draft version of your analysis. Another thing that can help you at this step is a summary creator to make the creative process more efficient.

Critique Paper Template

  • Start with an introductory phrase about the domain of the work in question.
  • Tell which work you are going to analyze, its author, and year of publication.
  • Specify the principal argument of the work under study.
  • In the third sentence, clearly state your thesis.
  • Here you can insert the summary you wrote before.
  • This is the only place where you can use it. No summary can be written in the main body!
  • Use one paragraph for every separate analyzed aspect of the text (style, organization, fairness/bias, etc.).
  • Each paragraph should confirm your thesis (e.g., whether the text is effective or ineffective).
  • Each paragraph shall start with a topic sentence, followed by evidence, and concluded with a statement referring to the thesis.
  • Provide a final judgment on the effectiveness of the piece of writing.
  • Summarize your main points and restate the thesis, indicating that everything you said above confirms it.

You can evaluate the chosen work or concept in several ways. Pick the one you feel more comfortable with from the following:

  • Descriptive critical essays examine texts or other works. Their primary focus is usually on certain features of a work, and it is common to compare and contrast the subject of your analysis to a classic example of the genre to which it belongs.
  • Evaluative critical essays provide an estimate of the value of the work. Was it as good as you expected based on the recommendations, or do you feel your time would have been better spent on something else?
  • Interpretive essays provide your readers with answers that relate to the meaning of the work in question. To do this, you must select a method of determining the meaning, read/watch/observe your analysis subject using this method, and put forth an argument.

There are also different types of critiques. The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, in the article “ Writing critiques ,” discusses them as well as the appropriate critique language.

Critique Paper Topics

  • Critique of the article Is Google Making Us Stupid? by Nicholas Carr .
  • Interpret the symbolism of Edgar Alan Poe’s The Black Cat .
  • Examine the topicality of the article Impact of Racial/Ethnic Differences on Child Mental Health Care .  
  • Critical essay on Alice Walker’s short story Everyday Use .
  • Discuss the value of the essay The Hanging by George Orwell .
  • A critique on the article Stocks Versus Bonds : Explaining the Equity Risk Premium .
  • Explore the themes Tennessee Williams reveals in The Glass Menagerie.
  • Analyze the relevance of the article Leadership Characteristics and Digital Transformation .
  • Critical evaluation of Jonathan Harvey’s play Beautiful Thing .
  • Analyze and critique Derek Raymond’s story He Died with His Eyes Open .
  • Discuss the techniques author uses to present the problem of choice in The Plague .
  • Examine and evaluate the research article Using Evidence-Based Practice to Prevent Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia . 
  • Explore the scientific value of the article Our Future: A Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing .
  • Describe the ideas E. Hemingway put into his A Clean, Well-Lighted Place .
  • Analyze the literary qualities of Always Running La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L. A .
  • Critical writing on The Incarnation of Power by Wright Mills. 
  • Explain the strengths and shortcomings of Tim Kreider’s article The Busy Trap .
  • Critical response to Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway .
  • Examine the main idea of Richard Godbeer’s book Escaping Salem .
  • The strong and weak points of the article The Confusion of Tongues by William G. Bellshaw .
  • Critical review of Gulliver’s Travels .
  • Analyze the stylistic devices Anthony Lewis uses in Gideon’s Trumpet.
  • Examine the techniques Elie Wiesel uses to show relationship transformation in the book Night .
  • Critique of the play Fences by August Wilson .
  • The role of exposition in Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart.
  • The main themes John Maxwell discusses in his book Disgrace .
  • Critical evaluation of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 .
  • The ideas and concept of the book The Vegetarian Imperative .  
  • Different points of view on one historical figure in the book Two Lives of Charlemagne .

Since the APA critique paper format is one of the most common, let’s discuss it in more detail. Check out the information below to learn more:

The APA Manual recommends using the following fonts:

  • 11-point Calibri,
  • 11-point Arial,
  • 10-point Lucida Sans Unicode,
  • 12-point Times New Roman,
  • 11-point Georgia,
  • 10-point Computer Modern.

Add 1-inch margins on all sides.

📌 Page numbers

Page numbers should appear at the top right-hand corner, starting with the title page.

📌 Line spacing

The entire document, including the title page and reference list, should be double-spaced.

📌 Title page

The title page should include the following information:

  • page number 1 in the top right-hand corner of the page header,
  • paper title,
  • the student’s name,
  • the name of the department and the college or university,
  • course number and name,
  • the instructor’s name,
  • due date (the date format used in your country).

📌 Critique paper title

The title of your critique paper should be no more than 12 words. In addition, it should be centered and typed in bold using title case.

📌 In-text citations

For the in-text citation, provide the author’s last name and publication year in brackets. If you are using direct citation, add the page number after the year.

📌 References

The last page of your paper should include a list of all sources cited in your essay. Here’s a general format of book and journal article citations you should use:

Book: Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Book title: Subtitle . Publisher.

Journal article: Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Title of the article. Journal Title, volume (issue number), start page–end page.

The main parts of good critical response essays are:

  • Introduction. The introduction is the most essential part of the critical response. It should be concise and include the author and title of the work being analyzed, its main idea, and a strong thesis statement.
  • Summary. This should be brief and to the point. Only the author’s/creator’s main ideas and arguments should be included.
  • Analysis/interpretation. Discuss what the author’s/creator’s primary goal was and determine whether this goal was reached successfully. Use the evidence you have gathered to argue whether or not the author/creator achieved was adequately convincing (remember there should be no personal bias in this discussion).
  • Evaluation/response. At this point, your readers are ready to learn your objective response to the work. It should be professional yet entertaining to read. Do not hesitate to use strong language. You can say that the work you analyzed was weak and poorly-structured if that is the case, but keep in mind that you have to have evidence to back up your claim.
  • Conclusion. The last paragraph of your work should restate the thesis statement, summarize the key points, and create a sense of closure for the readers.

Critique Paper Introduction

The introduction is setting the stage for your analysis. Here are some tips to follow when working on it:

  • Provide the reader with a brief synopsis of the main points of the work you are critiquing .
  • State your general opinion of the work , using it as your thesis statement. The ideal situation is that you identify and use a controversial thesis.
  • Remember that you will uncover a lot of necessary information about the work you are critiquing. You mustn’t make use of all of it, providing the reader with information that is unnecessary in your critique. If you are writing about Shakespeare, you don’t have to waste your or your reader’s time going through all of his works.

Critique Paper Body

The body of the critique contains the supporting paragraphs. This is where you will provide the facts that prove your main idea and support your thesis. Follow the tips below when writing the body of your critique.

  • Every paragraph must focus on a precise concept from the paper under your scrutiny , and your job is to include arguments to support or disprove that concept. Concrete evidence is required.
  • A critical essay is written in the third-person and ensures the reader is presented with an objective analysis.
  • Discuss whether the author was able to achieve their goals and adequately get their point across.
  • It is important not to confuse facts and opinions . An opinion is a personal thought and requires confirmation, whereas a fact is supported by reliable data and requires no further proof. Do not back up one idea with another one.
  • Remember that your purpose is to provide the reader with an understanding of a particular piece of literature or other work from your perspective. Be as specific as possible.

Critique Paper Conclusion

Finally, you will need to write a conclusion for your critique. The conclusion reasserts your overall general opinion of the ideas presented in the text and ensures there is no doubt in the reader’s mind about what you believe and why. Follow these tips when writing your conclusion:

  • Summarize the analysis you provided in the body of the critique.
  • Summarize the primary reasons why you made your analysis .
  • Where appropriate, provide recommendations on how the work you critiqued can be improved.

For more details on how to write a critique, check out the great critique analysis template provided by Thompson Rivers University.

If you want more information on essay writing in general, look at the Secrets of Essay Writing .

Example of Critique Paper with Introduction, Body, and Conclusion

Check out this critical response example to “The Last Inch” by James Aldridge to show how everything works in practice:

Introduction 

In his story “The Last Inch,” James Aldridge addresses the issue of the relationship between parents and children. The author captured the young boy’s coming into maturity coinciding with a challenging trial. He also demonstrated how the twelve-year-old boy obtained his father’s character traits. Aldridge’s prose is both brutal and poetic, expressing his characters’ genuine emotions and the sad truths of their situations.

Body: Summary 

The story is about Ben Ensley, an unemployed professional pilot, who decides to capture underwater shots for money. He travels to Shark Bay with his son, Davy. Ben is severely injured after being attacked by a shark while photographing. His last hope of survival is to fly back to the little African hamlet from where they took off.

Body: Analysis 

The story effectively uses the themes of survival and fatherhood and has an intriguing and captivating plot. In addition, Ben’s metamorphosis from a failing pilot to a determined survivor is effectively presented. His bond with his son, Davy, adds depth and emotional importance to the story. At the same time, the background information about Ben’s past and his life before the shark attack could be more effectively integrated into the main story rather than being presented as separate blocks of text.

Body: Evaluation 

I find “The Last Inch” by James Aldridge a very engaging and emotional story since it highlights the idea of a father’s unconditional love and determination in the face of adversity. I was also impressed by the vivid descriptions and strong character development of the father and son.

Conclusion 

“The Last Inch” by James Aldridge is an engaging and emotional narrative that will appeal to readers of all ages. It is a story of strength, dedication, and the unbreakable link between father and son. Though some backstory could be integrated more smoothly, “The Last Inch” impresses with its emotional punch. It leaves the readers touched by the raw power of fatherly love and human will.

📚 Critique Essay Examples

With all of the information and tips provided above, your way will become clearer when you have a solid example of a critique essay.

Below is a critical response to The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

When speaking of feminist literature that is prominent and manages to touch on incredibly controversial issues, The Yellow Wallpaper is the first book that comes to mind. Written from a first-person perspective, magnifying the effect of the narrative, the short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman introduces the reader to the problem of the physical and mental health of the women of the 19th century. However, the message that is intended to concern feminist ideas is rather subtle. Written in the form of several diary entries, the novel offers a mysterious plot, and at the same time, shockingly realistic details.

What really stands out about the novel is the fact that the reader is never really sure how much of the story takes place in reality and how much of it happens in the psychotic mind of the protagonist. In addition, the novel contains a plethora of description that contributes to the strain and enhances the correlation between the atmosphere and the protagonist’s fears: “The color is repellent, almost revolting; a smoldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight” (Gilman).

Despite Gilman’s obvious intent to make the novel a feminist story with a dash of thriller thrown in, the result is instead a thriller with a dash of feminism, as Allen (2009) explains. However, there is no doubt that the novel is a renowned classic. Offering a perfect portrayal of the 19th-century stereotypes, it is a treasure that is certainly worth the read.

If you need another critique essay example, take a look at our sample on “ The Importance of Being Earnest ” by Oscar Wilde.

And here are some more critique paper examples for you check out:

  • A Good Man Is Hard to Find: Critique Paper
  • Critique on “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • “When the Five Rights Go Wrong” Article Critique
  • Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey — Comparison & Critique
  • “The TrueBlue Study”: Qualitative Article Critique 
  • Ethical Conflict Associated With Managed Care: Views of Nurse Practitioners’: Article Critique 
  • Benefits and Disadvantages of Prone Positioning in Severe Acute Respiratory Distress: Article Critique
  • Reducing Stress in Student Nurses: Article Critique
  • Management of Change and Professional Safety – Article Critique
  • “Views of Young People Towards Physical Activity”: Article Critique

Seeing an example of a critique is so helpful. You can find many other examples of a critique paper at the University of Minnesota and John Hopkins University. Plus, you can check out this video for a great explanation of how to write a critique.

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Pfeiffer Library

Writing a Critique

  • About this Guide
  • What Is a Critique?
  • Getting Started
  • Components of a Critique Essay

Further Reading

This article provides additional guidance for writing critiques:

Vance DE, Talley M, Azuero A, Pearce PF, & Christian BJ. (2013). Conducting an article critique for a quantitative research study: perspectives for doctoral students and other novice readers.  Nursing : Research and Reviews ,  2013 , 67–75.

Parts of a Critique Essay

There are 4 distinct components to a critique, and those are the:

Introduction

Each of these components is described in further detail in the boxes on this page of the guide.

An effective introduction:

  • Provides a quick snapshot of background information readers may need in order to follow along with the argument
  • Defines key terminology as needed
  • Ends with a strong argument (thesis)

For additional guidance on writing introduction paragraphs, librarians recommend:

Cover Art

Need some extra help on thesis statements? Check out our Writing Effective Thesis Statements guide .

A summary is a broad overview of what is discussed in a source. In a critique essay, writers should always assume that those reading the essay may be unfamiliar with the work being examined. For that reason, the following should be included early in the paper:

  • The name of the author(s) of the work
  • The title of the work
  • Main ideas presented in the work
  • Arguments presented in the work
  • Any conclusions presented in the work

Depending on the requirements of your particular assignment, the summary may appear as part of the introduction, or it may be a separate paragraph. The summary should always be included before the analysis, as readers need a base-level familiarity of the resource before you can effectively present an argument about what the source does well and where improvements are needed.

More information about summaries can be found on our Writing an Effective Summary guide .

The critique is your evaluation of the resource. A strong critique:

  • Discusses the strengths of the resource
  • Discusses the weaknesses of the resource
  • Provides specific examples (direct quotes, with proper citation) as needed to support your evaluation
  • The accuracy of the resource
  • Any bias found within the resource
  • The relevance of the resource
  • The clarity of the resource

A critique is your opinion  of the text, supported by evidence from the text.

If you need further guidance on how to evaluate your source, you can also consult our Evaluating Your Sources guide .

Need help with citation?  

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Compose papers in pre-formatted APA templates. Manage references in forms that help craft APA citations. Learn the rules of APA style through tutorials and practice quizzes.

Academic Writer will continue to use the 6th edition guidelines until August 2020. A preview of the 7th edition is available in the footer of the resource's site. Previously known as APA Style Central.

  • APA Style Help Learn more about APA style through our research guide.

A conclusion has three main functions in an essay. A conclusion will:

  • Summarize the main ideas presented in the essay
  • Remind readers of the thesis (argument)
  • Draw the paper to a close 

For additional guidance, the library recommends:

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How to Write an Article Critique

Tips for Writing a Psychology Critique Paper

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

critique paper quora

Emily is a board-certified science editor who has worked with top digital publishing brands like Voices for Biodiversity, Study.com, GoodTherapy, Vox, and Verywell.

critique paper quora

Cultura RM / Gu Cultura / Getty Images

  • Steps for Writing a Critique

Evaluating the Article

  • How to Write It
  • Helpful Tips

An article critique involves critically analyzing a written work to assess its strengths and flaws. If you need to write an article critique, you will need to describe the article, analyze its contents, interpret its meaning, and make an overall assessment of the importance of the work.

Critique papers require students to conduct a critical analysis of another piece of writing, often a book, journal article, or essay . No matter your major, you will probably be expected to write a critique paper at some point.

For psychology students, critiquing a professional paper is a great way to learn more about psychology articles, writing, and the research process itself. Students will analyze how researchers conduct experiments, interpret results, and discuss the impact of the results.

At a Glance

An article critique involves making a critical assessment of a single work. This is often an article, but it might also be a book or other written source. It summarizes the contents of the article and then evaluates both the strengths and weaknesses of the piece. Knowing how to write an article critique can help you learn how to evaluate sources with a discerning eye.

Steps for Writing an Effective Article Critique

While these tips are designed to help students write a psychology critique paper, many of the same principles apply to writing article critiques in other subject areas.

Your first step should always be a thorough read-through of the material you will be analyzing and critiquing. It needs to be more than just a casual skim read. It should be in-depth with an eye toward key elements.

To write an article critique, you should:

  • Read the article , noting your first impressions, questions, thoughts, and observations
  • Describe the contents of the article in your own words, focusing on the main themes or ideas
  • Interpret the meaning of the article and its overall importance
  • Critically evaluate the contents of the article, including any strong points as well as potential weaknesses

The following guidelines can help you assess the article you are reading and make better sense of the material.

Read the Introduction Section of the Article

Start by reading the introduction . Think about how this part of the article sets up the main body and how it helps you get a background on the topic.

  • Is the hypothesis clearly stated?
  • Is the necessary background information and previous research described in the introduction?

In addition to answering these basic questions, note other information provided in the introduction and any questions you have.

Read the Methods Section of the Article

Is the study procedure clearly outlined in the methods section ? Can you determine which variables the researchers are measuring?

Remember to jot down questions and thoughts that come to mind as you are reading. Once you have finished reading the paper, you can then refer back to your initial questions and see which ones remain unanswered.

Read the Results Section of the Article

Are all tables and graphs clearly labeled in the results section ? Do researchers provide enough statistical information? Did the researchers collect all of the data needed to measure the variables in question?

Make a note of any questions or information that does not seem to make sense. You can refer back to these questions later as you are writing your final critique.

Read the Discussion Section of the Article

Experts suggest that it is helpful to take notes while reading through sections of the paper you are evaluating. Ask yourself key questions:

  • How do the researchers interpret the results of the study?
  • Did the results support their hypothesis?
  • Do the conclusions drawn by the researchers seem reasonable?

The discussion section offers students an excellent opportunity to take a position. If you agree with the researcher's conclusions, explain why. If you feel the researchers are incorrect or off-base, point out problems with the conclusions and suggest alternative explanations.

Another alternative is to point out questions the researchers failed to answer in the discussion section.

Begin Writing Your Own Critique of the Paper

Once you have read the article, compile your notes and develop an outline that you can follow as you write your psychology critique paper. Here's a guide that will walk you through how to structure your critique paper.

Introduction

Begin your paper by describing the journal article and authors you are critiquing. Provide the main hypothesis (or thesis) of the paper. Explain why you think the information is relevant.

Thesis Statement

The final part of your introduction should include your thesis statement. Your thesis statement is the main idea of your critique. Your thesis should briefly sum up the main points of your critique.

Article Summary

Provide a brief summary of the article. Outline the main points, results, and discussion.

When describing the study or paper, experts suggest that you include a summary of the questions being addressed, study participants, interventions, comparisons, outcomes, and study design.

Don't get bogged down by your summary. This section should highlight the main points of the article you are critiquing. Don't feel obligated to summarize each little detail of the main paper. Focus on giving the reader an overall idea of the article's content.

Your Analysis

In this section, you will provide your critique of the article. Describe any problems you had with the author's premise, methods, or conclusions. You might focus your critique on problems with the author's argument, presentation, information, and alternatives that have been overlooked.

When evaluating a study, summarize the main findings—including the strength of evidence for each main outcome—and consider their relevance to key demographic groups.  

Organize your paper carefully. Be careful not to jump around from one argument to the next. Arguing one point at a time ensures that your paper flows well and is easy to read.

Your critique paper should end with an overview of the article's argument, your conclusions, and your reactions.

More Tips When Writing an Article Critique

  • As you are editing your paper, utilize a style guide published by the American Psychological Association, such as the official Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association .
  • Reading scientific articles can be challenging at first. Remember that this is a skill that takes time to learn but that your skills will become stronger the more that you read.
  • Take a rough draft of your paper to your school's writing lab for additional feedback and use your university library's resources.

What This Means For You

Being able to write a solid article critique is a useful academic skill. While it can be challenging, start by breaking down the sections of the paper, noting your initial thoughts and questions. Then structure your own critique so that you present a summary followed by your evaluation. In your critique, include the strengths and the weaknesses of the article.

Archibald D, Martimianakis MA. Writing, reading, and critiquing reviews .  Can Med Educ J . 2021;12(3):1-7. doi:10.36834/cmej.72945

Pautasso M. Ten simple rules for writing a literature review . PLoS Comput Biol . 2013;9(7):e1003149. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003149

Gülpınar Ö, Güçlü AG. How to write a review article?   Turk J Urol . 2013;39(Suppl 1):44–48. doi:10.5152/tud.2013.054

Erol A. Basics of writing review articles .  Noro Psikiyatr Ars . 2022;59(1):1-2. doi:10.29399/npa.28093

American Psychological Association.  Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association  (7th ed.). Washington DC: The American Psychological Association; 2019.

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

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8.1: What’s a Critique and Why Does it Matter?

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  • Steven D. Krause
  • Eastern Michigan University

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Critiques evaluate and analyze a wide variety of things (texts, images, performances, etc.) based on reasons or criteria. Sometimes, people equate the notion of “critique” to “criticism,” which usually suggests a negative interpretation. These terms are easy to confuse, but I want to be clear that critique and criticize don’t mean the same thing. A negative critique might be said to be “criticism” in the way we often understand the term “to criticize,” but critiques can be positive too.

We’re all familiar with one of the most basic forms of critique: reviews (film reviews, music reviews, art reviews, book reviews, etc.). Critiques in the form of reviews tend to have a fairly simple and particular point: whether or not something is “good” or “bad.”

Academic critiques are similar to the reviews we see in popular sources in that critique writers are trying to make a particular point about whatever it is that they are critiquing. But there are some differences between the sorts of critiques we read in academic sources versus the ones we read in popular sources.

  • The subjects of academic critiques tend to be other academic writings and they frequently appear in scholarly journals.
  • Academic critiques frequently go further in making an argument beyond a simple assessment of the quality of a particular book, film, performance, or work of art. Academic critique writers will often compare and discuss several works that are similar to each other to make some larger point. In other words, instead of simply commenting on whether something was good or bad, academic critiques tend to explore issues and ideas in ways that are more complicated than merely “good” or “bad.”

The main focus of this chapter is the value of writing critiques as a part of the research writing process. Critiquing writing is important because in order to write a good critique you need to critically read : that is, you need to closely read and understand whatever it is you are critiquing, you need to apply appropriate criteria in order evaluate it, you need to summarize it, and to ultimately make some sort of point about the text you are critiquing.

These skills-- critically and closely reading, summarizing, creating and applying criteria, and then making an evaluation-- are key to The Process of Research Writing, and they should help you as you work through the process of research writing.

In this chapter, I’ve provided a “step-by-step” process for making a critique. I would encourage you to quickly read or skim through this chapter first, and then go back and work through the steps and exercises describe.

Selecting the right text to critique

The first step in writing a critique is selecting a text to critique. For the purposes of this writing exercise, you should check with your teacher for guidelines on what text to pick. If you are doing an annotated bibliography as part of your research project (see chapter 6, “The Annotated Bibliography Exercise”), then you are might find more materials that will work well for this project as you continuously research.

Short and simple newspaper articles, while useful as part of the research process, can be difficult to critique since they don’t have the sort of detail that easily allows for a critical reading. On the other hand, critiquing an entire book is probably a more ambitious task than you are likely to have time or energy for with this exercise. Instead, consider critiquing one of the more fully developed texts you’ve come across in your research: an in-depth examination from a news magazine, a chapter from a scholarly book, a report on a research study or experiment, or an analysis published in an academic journal. These more complex essays usually present more opportunities for issues to critique.

Depending on your teacher’s assignment, the “text” you critique might include something that isn’t in writing: a movie, a music CD, a multimedia presentation, a computer game, a painting, etc. As is the case with more traditional writings, you want to select a text that has enough substance to it so that it stands up to a critical reading.

Exercise 7.1

Pick out at least three different possibilities for texts that you could critique for this exercise. If you’ve already started work on your research and an annotated bibliography for your research topic, you should consider those pieces of research as possibilities. Working alone or in small groups, consider the potential of each text. Here are some questions to think about:

  • Does the text provide in-depth information? How long is it? Does it include a “works cited” or bibliography section?
  • What is the source of the text? Does it come from an academic, professional, or scholarly publication?
  • Does the text advocate a particular position? What is it, and do you agree or disagree with the text?

Writing Forward

How to Critique Other Writers’ Work

by Melissa Donovan | Oct 31, 2023 | Writing Tips | 76 comments

how to critique

How to critique other writers’ work.

As a writer, it helps to be thick-skinned. Once you put your work out there, people will judge, review, and criticize it. But critiques are more helpful when they are received long before publication. In fact, critiques are one of the best ways to improve your writing.

Many writers who want critiques that will help them improve their work will find a writing partner or critique group, which is a reciprocal relationship. You won’t only be receiving critiques — you’ll be providing them too! Fortunately, the process of critiquing other writers’ work thoughtfully and intelligently will strengthen your own writing.

There’s an art to providing well-constructed and thoughtful criticism that helps a writer improve the work and that recognizes the fine line between personal preference and the objective quality of the work.

The tips below explain how to provide critiques that are helpful and respectful. If you can apply these tips to the critiques you give, then you’ll better position yourself to receive helpful and respectful critiques in return.

Don’t Crash the Party

Generally, it’s bad form to sound off on a writer’s work unless you are invited to do so. There are writers who can’t handle feedback, and often these are the ones who won’t ask for it. Chances are, they’re just going to defend their work to the bitter end, so your feedback will be little more than a waste of time. Other writers will openly declare that feedback is always welcome. It is here that you should focus your efforts, assuming your goal as a critic is to help people, and not make them feel inferior or feeble. However, your best bet is to simply limit your critiques to those writers who personally ask you for feedback. This will usually be a trade, in which you swap critiques, an arrangement that should be mutually beneficial.

R.S.V.P. with Care

Some writers ask for feedback, but what they really want to hear is how great they are. These are the narcissistic types who write more for their own egos than for the sake of the craft itself. It takes a little intuition to figure out which writers really want you to weed out all the flaws in their work and which are just looking for praise. If your critique partner asks specific questions, you should answer, but try to avoid back-and-forth arguments and getting into a position where you are defending your critique or where the writer is defending their work. Exchanges like these are a sign that this is not a beneficial or positive critique relationship.

Bring Something to the Party

If you’re giving a critique, whether in a writer’s group, a workshop, online, or with a friend, you should take the time to really read a piece before you construct your feedback. Read every line carefully and make notes, mark it up as you go, and then jot down your thoughts when you’ve finished reading. If time and the length of the piece allow, give it a second reading, because that’s often where things really click or stick out. There’s nothing worse than receiving half-baked feedback. It’s blatantly obvious when someone hasn’t put sincere effort into a critique, and it renders the critique useless while damaging the relationship.

Devour the Food, Not the Hostess

Whatever you do or say during your critique, your feedback should be directed at the writing, not the writer. Don’t start your comments with the word you  — ever. Always refer to the piece, the sentence, the paragraph, the prose, or the narrative. You are judging the work, not the individual who produced it, and though compliments aimed at the writer might be well received, there’s a subtle but significant difference between pointing out flaws in the piece versus the person who created it.

Let the Good Times Roll

When you are giving a critique, always start by emphasizing the good. This is the cardinal rule of effective critiquing, and I cannot emphasize this enough: always start by telling the writer what works and where the strengths lie. By doing this, you’re kicking things off on a positive note. Also, it’s much easier for a writer to hear where they have failed after they hear where they’ve succeeded.

Here are two examples to illustrate this point:

1. The language is effective, with strong, colorful images. I can easily imagine what’s happening in this scene. However, some of the phrases are clich és , so one way to make this even stronger would be to come up with alternatives for the more commonly used phrases, like… 2. Well, there are a lot of clichés. You should have tried to use more original word choices. But your imagery is good; I can visualize what the piece is communicating.

The first example is an appropriate critique whereas the second is both unprofessional and inconsiderate. It’s much easier to let a little air out of an inflated balloon than to blow up a deflated one. It’s especially easier on the person who is on the receiving end of your feedback.

Try to Have Fun Even if it’s Not Your Scene

Some people hate stories written in first person, but that doesn’t make a piece written in first person bad; it just makes it less appealing to the person who is turned off by it. Know the difference between your own personal preferences in terms of writing styles and try to separate these from your critiques. You can also issue a disclaimer letting the writer know that some of the elements in his or her work are not to your personal taste. If the entire style or genre is outside of your taste, then you may be doing the writer a favor by declining to critique or by recommending someone who would be a better match.

Help Clean up the Mess

Eventually, you’ll have to tell the writer where the piece falls short. Do this with grace. Avoid using strong negative language. Don’t repeatedly say things like “this is weak,” “you’re using the wrong words,” or “it’s boring.” Instead, use positive language and phrase your comments as suggestions for making improvements:

  • This word is vague. A stronger word would be…
  • A better word choice would be…
  • This could be more compelling or exciting if…

Remember, you’re there to help, not to hurt. If someone appreciates your opinion enough to ask for it, then provide it in a manner that is conductive to learning and supportive of the writer’s efforts to grow. Whenever possible, offer concrete suggestions. If you spot a weak word, try to offer a stronger replacement word.

Nurse the Hangover

There’s a good chance that no matter how gentle you are, your writer friend will feel a bit downtrodden after hearing that their piece still needs a lot of work. Many writers are tempted at this point to give up on a piece, while others will be motivated and inspired by the feedback.

After you’ve given a critique, check back with the writer and ask how the piece is coming along. Inquire as to whether your comments were helpful, and offer to read the piece again after it’s revised.

Learning How to Critique

Constructive criticism involves a little compassion. If someone cares enough about their work to show it around and invite feedback, then it’s probably something in which they are emotionally invested. If you are the person they feel is qualified to provide that feedback, then embrace the invitation as an honor, and approach it with respect.

It can be awkward at first — after all, who wants to be the bearer of bad news (and almost every critique contains at least a little bad news)? After you do a few critiques, you’ll get the hang of it, and it will become easier and more natural. Just keep these basic tips on how to critique in mind:

  • Don’t provide a critique unless you’ve been invited to do so.
  • Don’t waste time on writers who are looking for praise. Seek out writers who want feedback that will genuinely help them improve their work.
  • Take time and make an effort so you can offer a critique that is thoughtful and helpful; otherwise, just politely decline.
  • Critique the writing, not the writer.
  • Always start with the strengths, then address the weaknesses and problem areas using positive language.
  • Be objective, especially if the piece you’re critiquing is not in a style or genre that you prefer.
  • Make solid suggestions for improvement. Don’t be vague.
  • Follow up with the writer to offer support and encouragement.

Do you have any tips to add? Have you ever struggled with providing critiques to other writers? Has the critique process helped you improve your own writing? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment, and keep writing.

10 Core Practices for Better Writing

76 Comments

KD

I am a romance writer (published under a pseudonym) and participate in a writer’s workshop group (I prefer they not know I actually make a living writing) and have been attending (religiously!) for more than a year (every two weeks) – I love it! But, here is the dilemma… The pieces that we workshop – most of it is good… what I mean, they are really good writers (pretty words and stuff), but the stories they are writing… not so good. So far, the reputation I have is “you are too nice…”. I don’t want to change the way they write… they do that fine… but they need better stories and they all write in the first person POV (I prefer fiction written in the 3rd POV – 1st POV is all right if the story is really good, otherwise…). I find that I can’t even get to the second page of their stuff without wanting to put it down… how do I tell them that if this were an agent or publisher they wouldn’t be “nice”? How do I give a [I think, a much needed] critique without being ‘not nice”?

Melissa Donovan

Hi KD. I think first you have to realize that you’re not doing your fellow writers any favors by holding back on the criticism, especially if they regard you as being “too nice.” That indicates they’re willing to take deeper criticism from you. But you can still be nice about it. Try starting all your critiques with the strengths: Great sentence structure and word choice, I especially like how you’ve described this character, etc. Then when you address problem areas, frame them in positive language: This scene would be more captivating if… Sometimes, you might have to be blunt: After two pages, the story just wasn’t holding my attention. It would be more compelling if… .

As for first/third POV, that is strictly a personal preference. You can certainly let your group know you prefer third, but be aware that this is subjective; a good critique always tries to be as objective as possible.

Melissa – Thank you for the very helpful feedback.

You’re welcome.

Katrina Stonoff

KD, it sounds to me like your group knows the craft of writing, but not story telling. So teach them how to tell a great story. There are specific things that can raise almost any story out of the doldrums: things like giving the POV character something they desperately want, and putting obstacles in their way of getting it; or increasing the tension; writing scenes filled with more conflict and less description/introspection, etc.

And I’m with Melissa. If they’re saying you’re “too nice,” they want to hear what they’re doing wrong. Tell them the truth — just say it gently, and don’t forget to also say (every time) what they’re doing right.

In my groups, we “sandwich” criticism between praise and encouragement.

Angela Taylor

Sandwich it with true compliments I really enjoy your descriptions, however, I’m getting lost when it comes to the….plot, character motive, etc. I can see Sally really well but I need some idea of where Sally is going or what she wants she’s very likable. I just want to know more.

southlakesmom

Melissa, our Writers Group is just starting to coalesce into a helpful experience rather than everyone being afraid to stick their toe in the water. As it does, I’ve tried to encourage people to give actual feedback rather than “I would have written the story this way.” So your article is perfect. I linked to it through our WG bulletin and talked about it last week.

Now, if I can only get other people to read it, we might all mature a bit more in our writing!

Thank you for the guidance.

Thank you for sharing this post with your writers’ group. I know many writers are hesitant to give honest feedback because they don’t want to hurt their peers’ feelings or cause friction. It takes a bit of patience and practice to learn how to give and receive critiques. I think once writers start to see the results (the improvements in their writing), they embrace critiques more easily. Good luck with your writing and your group.

David Eubanks

A critique is helpful when the identifited weak point in the writing can be associated to a writing principle. People who are schooled or self-educated in the principles of writing are hard to find. Consequently, beware. The cacaphony of opinions the group may offer can be misleading and confusing more than clarifying.

That’s true. It’s important for writers to choose their alpha/beta readers carefully and use caution when applying suggestions from critiques. Get a second opinion and use your best judgment.

Kiwi

I think it can help to ask the writer what it is that they are looking for. Some might want particular attention on their dialogue, structure or characters for instance. I know when I’ve asked for feedback I haven’t given any direction and therefore don’t get much back. I think if I did this it could help.

That’s a great tip to add to this list. I know when I need a critique, there are usually specific elements that I want feedback on. Thanks for mentioning this, Kiwi.

not_a_writer

Hello Melissa, and thank you for this thoughtful piece. I tried writing for an amateur website a couple of years ago and was expecting some criticism for my unpolished work. Sadly, the entirely destructive comments made, without even any word of welcome to the site, pierced my already thin skin so badly that I have been quite unable to write since; I still visit the site from time to time to try to encourage new writers but my own pretensions to being a writer were destroyed, callously, a long time ago.

My advice, which I know hasn’t been solicited, is to write to entertain yourself only; Hell, as someone once remarked, is other people – if you turn the other cheek they will strike it all the harder.

I would say that to be a writer, you need to have tough skin, and if you don’t have tough skin, then you need to cultivate it. Also, if writing is your passion, a few negative remarks or destructive comments could fuel your passion and make you want to write better. The trick is learning how to take those negative remarks and put them to work for you.

And yes, some people just write for personal reasons. There’s no law that says you have to write for a readership.

Wayne C. Long

Thanks, Melissa, for your razor-sharp piece here.

I believe that the thorniest part of this critiqueing business is how quickly some so-called critiquers get on their high horse and show off for the rest of a writing group. Experienced writers I hang out with and whose blogs I admire will tell wannabes that writing groups or workshops are not all they’re cracked up to be and should be avoided. Public humiliation is the worst, especially from those folks who have never empathized in their lives (and there are many these days in all fields).

I have witnessed firsthand how an online writers group became so heated and out of control that almost everyone left. The egos flew like wildfire!

That is why your point about specifically declining to critique work which is not in a genre or style of one’s choosing, is wise advice. Let’s take that one step further by saying that it would be very wise for a budding genre writer to choose critiquers from his/her particular genre and NOT ask for advice from those who either don’t like or have no experience in, certain writing forms. The shotgun approach is just asking for trouble and hurt feelings.

Yes, writers should have a thick skin because of the snarkiness and ego-tripping found in our line of work, especially the kind of verbal assaults proffered by those cowardly types who hide behind their false IDs and computer screens on the Internet.

But wait. There is hope. I see a new playing field opening wide which is all about inclusiveness, not exclusiveness, and that is in the ebook self-publishing field (where my own work and experience resides).

This brave new world of epublishing lets the READERS decide; not agents, not old-school publishing door-keepers, nor entitlement-minded so-called writers who have never lived in a reality-check family or academic atmosphere.

Just try to imagine a writer who, through sheer force of their unique imagination or social POV, creates a whole NEW genre. Maybe we’ll call him Mr. Poe. Or Mr. Dickens. Or maybe someone who at one time in her writing life was so clinically depressed and contemplated suicide, she eventually came to be known as J. K. Rowling. What if they had been stifled by ill-mannered writing hacks who had no clue of the greatness right under their very snotty noses?

I leave you with something biblical, a challenge which sums up this knotty critiqueing issue perfectly:

“He who is without sin, let him [her] cast the first stone.”

Thanks for your response, Wayne. When we talk about critiques, we are walking a fine line.

On the one hand, there is this attitude that people who criticize other people’s work are arrogant, egoistical elitists. How dare they tell me this sentence doesn’t sound right! Who are they to judge my characters! What’s wrong with where I’ve put my commas! The problem is that the critic might be trying to help, and the writer is the one with the big ego, the one who can’t take the constructive criticism. I have seen this many times.

On the other hand, (and this is especially problematic in online critique groups), there are lots of people spouting opinions who don’t know what they’re talking about, and this can run in two extremes: critics either compliment everything or harshly insult everything. A poorly constructed critique does more harm than good.

I usually recommend that young and new writers get their first critiques from a teacher, a professional editor or coach, or within a workshop at an accredited school (community colleges are great for this, and some offer online classes). Other writing groups and online workshops can be helpful, but by getting critiques from schools and professionals first, writers will better know what to look for in a more casual group setting and can be more judicious in choosing future critique situations. I suspect that most writers who’ve had negative experiences with online critiques simply chose poorly because they didn’t know what to look for in a critique group.

Kim Terry

Amen, Wayne and Melissa. Last night, I returned to my critique group after a year-long absence to report my good news about an agent asking for material during a pitch session and to get pointers about my work. While some were diplomatic in their critiques, others (not in my genre) appeared to misunderstand on purpose.

As not only a writer but also a college English teacher, I know the importance of letting people know their strengths as well as suggesting areas where their writing could improve. I also agree about critiquing only in one’s own genre. Some reading work from their genre, last night, received misleading advice. Others critiquing others had no work to read, themselves.

On my first night to read, someone whispered some sage advice in my ear: “Take whatever they say with a grain of salt.” That advice has served me well.

It sounds like good advice to me. I believe that to give someone guidance and advice, you have to understand what their goals are. If your goal is to write within a genre, then your writing group’s critiques should keep that in mind. It sounds like they are trying to shift your work to their goals, which I’m guessing are more along the lines of literary fiction.

Always remember, the best thing about critiques is that the writer gets to decide which ideas to use and which to discard.

Brian Foster

I’ve been lucky enough not to experience such a thing. My writing group, and the critiquers on the forum that I frequent, all seem to have a passion for helping other writers improve. Yes, the comments can be brutally honest, but they are always given in the spirit of improving the work.

That’s wonderful. I’m always thrilled to hear positive stories about writing groups that truly help their members improve their work. Thanks, Brian.

Jonnie Garstka

Hi, A problem we have in our writing group is unwillingness to critique others. This is mainly because many of our members are new to creative writing having come from business or military backgrounds. Their work is clever and well written, they just don’t feel competent to “judge” other’s writings. When they do comment, I find their opinions to be clever, honest, valid and thoughtful. However, it’s like picking teeth to get them to do this. How do you get the shy “Newbies” to relax and share their wealth of experience?

Ooh, that’s a tough one. I think it starts with leading by example. One of the most valuable things I learned in a poetry workshop was how to critique. Our instructor made it very clear: first say what you liked about the piece, then offer something that could be improved.

Here’s how it worked in our workshop: the author handed out copies of their piece. We took our copy home and had a week to read it and make notes. Then we came back to class, and the author read their piece aloud. Then we went around in a circle and everyone had to say something nice and something critical. The feedback was absolutely amazing. I think everyone in the class loved it. Highly recommend as a writing workshop structure.

It might also help to get them thinking about the benefit of offering and receiving critiques. I absolutely loved getting criticism because I could use it to improve my work. Actually, to this day, this is why I love feedback and edits. The participants are not helping their fellow writers if they withhold feedback that could be useful. The trick is to teach them to be tactful (thus start by saying something nice) and how to take the feedback gracefully (accept that your writing can always be improved and embrace it).

Best of luck to you! I love writing workshops and groups.

E. J. McLaughlin

It has taken me years to find the right group of workshoppers. We are tough on one another, but it’s never personal. I’ve had my share of horrible critiquing to the point where my story had been totally rewritten and been told that grandmother’s can’t be nasty or, as a horror writer, why does there have to be blood. So at the end of the day I weeded out those who were negative towards my writing, found the courage to find what my strengths are and movd forward in my writing career. I love my writing group even if they do make my head hurt at the end of the night. Trust me that’s a good thing, means they have made me think.

Outside of a classroom setting and one online critique group I found years ago (which is now defunct), I’ve found it extremely challenging to find good critique groups and partners, online or off. So I’m glad to hear that you found a great group of workshoppers and that you appreciate them (even though they make your head hurt). Keep writing!

Paul Atreides

Great piece, Melissa!

I left a comment several weeks ago regarding the group I attend. The woman who runs the group brought a new guy in (based on your suggestion) and I thought it would be a wonderful addition; my chance to (finally) get the male perspective on my work.

His first shot at my work, the first words out of his mouth, what did he do? “This is stupid, non-sensical, boring, and a waste of time.” Needless to say, I was highly offended.

I’ve gotten the last laugh though: That same excerpt of my book advanced into Round 3 of the Amazon Breakout Novel Award contest amid Vine Reviews with “crisp and believable and hold the potential for a lot of fun,” “a great deal of style,” “I would totally hang out with these characters,” and “elements of character construction, dialogue, and other incidentals, all of which the author demonstrates at least competency in, and in some cases mastery.” Of course, there were criticisms as well: “the author could have taken a bit more time…it stretches belief,” “the ex-fiancee character is whiny.”

This new member of our group has since toned down his rhetoric and has added some useful critique, but brother! did he need to learn some manners!

Wow, I’m shocked that someone who is new to a writing group would make such comments in a critique. I was going to suggest that you ask him to be removed from the group (because that’s highly inappropriate), but it sounds like he’s learning.

It sounds like you’re getting good feedback through the contest as well. Soak up all those compliments, but don’t forget to note all the criticisms and suggestions so you can use them to improve your work! And good luck to you.

I didn’t ask for him to be removed – I called and removed myself. Through a bit of correspondence to the group, I made my case for proper manners. I never got an apology from him, but didn’t expect one. The announcement of my advancement in the Amazon competition kind of took the wind out of his sails.

The feedback through the contest has been fantastic and extremely useful in the editing process. My fourth draft is shaping up. I’m praying I make it to Round 4, which will provide a critique of the entire manuscript by Publisher’s Weekly. That would be invaluable and a worthy prize in itself!

It sounds like a great contest. I don’t think I’d participate in a writing group unless there were policies set in place regarding the appropriate way to give a critique. I was trained on critiques in college, and I’m a stickler about treating fellow writers with respect and courtesy. Having said that, if the writing group is truly helping you with your writing, then by all means, you should stick with it. Good luck in the contest!

fred

I have a coworker who wrote a training manual and completely missed the point. How do you advice them to start from scratch.

Fred in Frisco

Hi Fred. Thanks for posting your question here. You’re dealing with business writing, and your question is a bit outside the scope for this forum, which is not a place for workplace or business writing advice. In any case, if you give your coworker feedback, start by finding and pointing out three areas where the work is good (this could be proper grammar, easy-to-read sentences, or good formatting) and then break the news that it needs to be redone. Be specific in any instructions for the project. Often when writers don’t deliver what is expected, it’s because the expectations weren’t properly set to begin with. In business writing, there should be a clear and detailed project description that states the goals and purposes of the final document. Good luck.

J.L. Dobias

Hi Melissa,

I want to thank you for some insightful thoughts on this subject. I’ve been researching it because of some of my own experiences and I’m trying to get a grasp for the ‘what went wrong’ type of scenario.

I find it interesting that there was a comment here about POV writing because that highlights my experiences of what does go wrong.

POV preferences seem to fall in the subjective area more than in the objective and tend to get into the way of getting and giving constructive criticisms. And, though I agree that there is a lot of subjectivity in a persons criticism I believe its best when that can be put aside and the critic can focus on what they know and how that can help the piece that they are critiquing.

You are absolutely on the mark about highlighting the positive first. In most of the online forums I’ve been involved in a prime rule is that the writer cannot critique the critic meaning in most cases they are supposed to sit mute. When you add to that the potential that many of the mega posters get into the habit of feet first editing of punctuation and grammar and context without first reading through the material it begins to border on rude behavior towards a captive audience.

This includes, sad to say, those people who insist that first person should never be used because readers , agent, publishers and perhaps all rational humans don’t like it. Though one person did suggest to their victim a website that would show them the proper way to do first person if they really felt they had to do first person.

This is why I mostly lurk outside these forums and rarely participate. Most of these forums post guidelines similar to your suggestions. Not all users abide by them and that puts the writer-poster in an uncomfortable position and really has less to do with thin skin than outright abuse. It’s the equivalent of flaming used in forums and user groups to bully new users to keep them in line.

Since it’s very difficult to tell if a poster- no matter if they have 1 post or 100000 posts credited- is knowledgeable in anything except bullying I think its better and less frustrating to use face to face writer groups.

Just my opinion.

I agree; it’s difficult to find a quality critique forum online. In all my own searches, I’ve only found one that I thought was worthwhile, and last time I checked, it was defunct. You might have better luck with an in-person workshop. You could also work with a writing coach, start your own writer’s group (a good place to start is your local, indie bookstore), or find a writing buddy you can swap critiques with. I think eventually there will be better writing critique forums online. I’d love to see some universities launch such sites.

Melinda

I stumbled across this site while searching for information to help my creative writing high school students, and it is wonderful. What advise do you have for TEACHING people to critique? We are using The Writing and Critique Group Survival Guide, and it provides some nice information, but I wonder if there is something out there to help kids who are just learning to critique the work of others. I know it will take time and practice, but I don’t want to have to reinvent the wheel if information is available. I would welcome any tips you having for training students in the art of writing critiques!

I think the most important thing I learned was to start every critique with positive feedback. That alone makes a world of difference in how the critique is received. For the people who are giving the critique, it forces them to consider the best parts of a piece before ripping it to shreds. For the people receiving the critique, it starts the feedback on a positive note. I think starting with the positive makes the negative a little easier to digest and accept, because you begin from a place of hope. Also, it’s crucial to critique the work and not the writer. Good luck with your class.

I’ll admit that I’m still learning to be an effective critiquer, but I’m not sure that I agree with the “start with the positives” approach. A couple of points:

1. I’ve heard it said that it’s best to close on a positive note, therefore lessening the impact of the negative aspects by leaving the author with the good parts.

2. The method you’re advocating seems to be primarily concerned with sparing the feelings of the writer. I definitely agree that you shouldn’t trash someone’s work needlessly, but I also want to deal with people who are seeking to improve their writing. I’ve had my work torn to pieces with no sugar coating. My writing is better for it.

Then again, maybe it depends greatly on who is being reviewed and the perceived attitude of the critiquer. If the author knows that the critiquer is only acting for his benefit, it makes the comments easier to swallow.

I see your point, and it’s one I’ve considered before. However, when you start with the negative, you set the tone for the entire feedback session on a negative note. It’s easier to let a little air out of an inflated balloon than to blow up a balloon that is completely deflated. I would definitely advocate ending on a positive note too, but instead of ending by citing the strengths in a piece, I would end by explaining how the piece could be improved. For example: this sentence is good, but it would be even better if…

A simple formula for critiques:

1. Explain what is working in the piece. 2. Highlight areas that are not working. 3. Offer suggestions for areas that could be improved.

As for sparing the feelings of the writer, that’s not quite what I am advocating. The idea is to refrain from destroying the writer’s confidence and to employ tact while criticizing their work. I find that other than simple laziness, lack of confidence is one of the biggest roadblocks for would-be writers. I’ve seen many talented writers give up their dream because they don’t think they are good enough while weaker writers succeed just because they are confident and driven.

And there’s nothing wrong with sparing someone’s feelings. If there’s a way to help someone while keeping their self-esteem intact, I think it’s worth a little extra effort.

Barry A. Whittingham

Last year my book had a bad review on Goodreads. I was given a one star out of five rating with the comment ,’Rubbish. Couldn’t finish it.’ My reaction was to say to myself, ‘Well how can you give a book a fair evaluation when you don’t even make the effort to read it to the end?’ I contacted Goodreads and used this argument to try and persuade them to flag the offending comment, but to no avail. Personally, as a matter of principle, I always finish reading a book I’ve begun, regardless of the interest it inspires. And in many cases I read it twice over. I’m frequently surprised by what I missed the first time round. I’d appreciate your comments.

Hi Barry. My understanding is that Goodreads also allows reviews on books that haven’t been read at all (i.e. books that aren’t available yet). I think if a book fails to hold readers’ interest and they stop reading it, that warrants a review, although I think readers should give books a fair chance (maybe 10% or so?). Having said that, there will always be people who like your books and people who don’t like them. The trick is to focus your energies on finding readers who will like your work and encourage those readers to leave reviews.

Tanya van Hasselt

I’m lucky to belong to a wonderful writing group ninevoices.wordpress.com which grew out of a creative writing class in Tunbridge Wells, UK. We’ve been meeting for more than 15 years now. There is always unlimited support and helpful criticism – and a lot of fun! The only occasional – and probably groundless – worry (which I expressed in a post ‘self-publishing: mixed emotions 30th November 2016, when my second novel Of Human Telling was about to appear!) is that we have all grown to love each other’s writing too much and so might not be as impartial as we need to be ,,,

Thanks for sharing your experience with your writing group, Tanya. I haven’t heard about anything like this before, and it’s an interesting dilemma. I can definitely understand how familiarity with someone’s writing style can prevent us from seeing the flaws. Criticism and feedback is important for fine-tuning any piece of writing, and for those writers who want constructive feedback so they can improve their work, it would make sense to look for some new people who can provide that feedback more objectively. Having said that, I also think it’s possible to remain objective and critical, even after years of reading someone’s work. You mentioned that you get helpful criticism from your group and also said that your worries about this matter are probably groundless, so maybe there’s no problem.

courtney l duncan

This is so helpful, thank you! I have just started a critique group with seven other people I met in a writing class, and it’s great to know we seem to be doing a pretty good job so far. We have been following most of these rules, and it seems to be beneficial to all of us. But I will definitely be referring back to this piece when I am doing my critiques, to make sure I am checking all of the boxes. Thank you!

Thanks for your feedback, Courtney. I’m always glad to hear that one of the articles here helped someone.

Book Ends

I critique in the on-line MasterClass for students in their writing classes and this has helped me tremendously.

From other articles, I was privy to some of this information and put the advice into play. This article hones my skill level.

Since “feedback” is popular in the MasterClass program, I posted this Website for students.

Thanks. Great article.

Thanks for sharing Writing Forward with students. I’m glad you’ve found the articles here helpful.

MikeU

Thank you for the opportunity to understand the requirements for providing and receiving feedback- not always an easy task if you want to be constructive. I particularly found the point about being objective, and remembering that it is the work you are critiquing and not the author.I hope to try this out tonight wth a new circle to whom I have submitted my own piece.

Thanks for your comment, MikeU.

Jim Diffendorfer

I have read 40 books this year and I find most are over wrought with the word, “that”. It’s everywhere, sometimes two or three times in one sentence. For example, “He reported that” or “It is claimed that” or “I think that”; in none of these examples is the word “that” necessary. It is meaningless, does nothing for the sentence, and is a hindrance to the reader. A second over used word is “manage”. “He/she managed to (verb); it’s best to forget the word “manage” and just write what he/she did. And why is it necessary to write, “in order to”? It’s just, “to”, delete the “in order”. Let’s write more efficiently.

Let’s try this:

In order to leave a comment on a blog, you must enter your email address.

This sentence will not work without the word to :

In order leave a comment on a blog, you must enter your email address.

However, your points about overuse of the word that are good. Technically, it’s allowed, but it’s not always necessary. In these contexts, it’s often functioning as a preposition. As with articles, we find many instances of prepositions throughout written works. Usually the sheer number goes unnoticed, but sometimes, once you notice their frequency, they draw the eye more and can become repetitive.

JP

I’m trying to develop my critique muscles. When I read pieces from my group I really only notice the technical errors. When I look at the sentence context I’m really not seeing where they can improve or what may be missing. When the group begins feedback time I prefer to go 3rd or last so that I have an idea of what others are thinking or what they are looking for. It makes me wonder if I should quit writing or maybe read more. If I could afford it, I would go back to school and take more literature classes.

Hi JP. Thanks for sharing your experience. No, you should not quit writing because you cannot find anything to critique in your writing group. Give yourself some time to observe the other critiques and try to learn from them. Look for areas in the writing that you think could be improved. When I took a writing workshop, we were taught to always offer some positive feedback first, and then follow it with suggestions for improvement. I’m not sure if this is what’s holding you back, but it could be that you simply don’t want to criticize fellow members of your group. Instead of viewing it as criticism, view it as constructive feedback. And even if you cannot ever find anything to critique, you should stick with writing. Critiques are a different skill set; while helpful to a writer, it’s not absolutely essential.

Finally, you can study good writing outside of formal education. Find books and articles. Seek out interviews with professional authors. Some elements of writing (or providing feedback) can take a long time to master. Be patient with yourself.

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I’m trying to develop my critique muscles. When I read pieces from my group I really only notice the technical errors. When I look at the sentence context I’m really not seeing where they can improve or what may be missing. When the group begins feedback time I prefer to go 3rd or last so that I have an idea of what others are thinking or what they are looking for. It makes me wonder if I should quit writing or maybe read more. If I could afford it, I would go back to school and take more literature classes.

Well, if you’re new to this, then you should give yourself some time to learn. And some people are just going to be better at spotting technical errors. Keep trying!

Vivienne

I was asked to critique a novel. I’ve now finished reading and am about to do the critique. This has come just in time. Thank you.

You’re welcome!

Pete Sprnger

As a former elementary teacher for many years, I treat critiques in the same manner as I treated parent/teacher conferences. I like your point about starting with positives and then delving into areas that could be strengthened by offering suggestions. Above all, we should respect anyone who has the courage to be critiqued.

I agree. Putting your work out there to be evaluated takes courage, and we should be respectful of that in how we treat the author and their work. Tact is so precious!

Cheryl

I’ve been searching the internet for an answer to a critiquing question, and so far, I haven’t found it. The question is, what do you tell writers who ask for a critique, but their grammar, punctuation or even their ability to speak English is so bad that it’s hard to read? I have a sort of writing partner. We became friends by sharing our novels. But as I made progress through his story, I start yawning and blanking out. He writes how he thinks. And that means long lines of periods, dashes, italics, and story diversions. At first, I told him I was going to edit a bit on the punctuation and grammar, but this was more for my sake than his. It delayed my feedback which put a strain on the critiquing exchange. But honestly, it’s so hard to read! But, then he wins me over with funny passages and endearing scenes. Your article is helpful, but it looks like I need practice with putting a positive spin on my approach. Thanks for the article.

Hi Cheryl. When dealing with ESL (English as Second Language), you probably shouldn’t be doing a critique. A person should be writing fluently in any given language before they are writing at a level where they are getting a critique rather than feedback on grammar, spelling, and punctuation. With that said, you might ask your friend to clean up the mechanics more before sending you material for critique. Just let him know that the draft is still too rough and the errors are distracting. Obviously, there shouldn’t be “long lines of periods, dashes, italics…” in a piece of writing that someone is asking someone else to critique. However, on the other hand, sometimes being a friend means being patient. If the work is so messy that it’s taking too long, just tell your friend that you can only give a set amount of time, and then stick to it. Good luck to you.

Maria Rodriguez

These examples were very helpful.

I’m glad you enjoyed them! Thanks, Maria.

George Philibin

The biggest issue is — does the beginning grab you and the remainder of the story keep you spellbound! Nothing else much matters at least in story telling! The true critiques should be directed to ‘how to grab and keep the reader’s interest.’ That thought should be flashed like a neon sign when critiquing, and when you think about it, all the techniques used in writing are just legs that support ‘Keeping the reader interested,’ yet ‘keeping the reader interested’ is never mentioned much!

It is important to grab the reader’s attention in the beginning and keep them interested as the book progresses, but it’s not necessarily the biggest issue. I think it depends on the book and the reader. A lot of highfalutin works of literature do not concern themselves with being compelling from start to finish (they are, as a result, often dull). I like the idea that all techniques in writing are just in support of keeping the reader interested. I’m not sure if I agree completely, but there’s something to it.

I’m talking about short stories and not literature. However, if the subject matter doesn’t grab the readers attention, then usually they wouldn’t read it, and if they do like in a college text, the reader will not remember it much.

Well George, you didn’t say anything about short stories and neither did this article. You might be interested to learn that short stories are a type of literature, and in fact, one of the oldest types of literature. Different things grab different people’s attention. A story that opens with a gripping play in a game of football would grab the attention of many readers, but it would not interest me in the slightest. In that situation, knowing your audience is even more important (so you can consider whether your target reader will be compelled by a football scene). So much in writing is subjective, and the rules and guidelines are rarely fixed.

I agee with you. Writing is subjective in which case no formula will ever answer the dos and don’ts for all target readers. In fact, as we age our likes and dislikes often change! The simple answer to writing is write! The simple answer to critiqueing is to critique and read other’s critiques.

So true, George!

I have trouble getting motivated to write now. Maybe my age, seventy-four, maybe my shifting interests, medicine I have to take or something else. Things change so much, yet with changes new and exciting avenues for writing should exist.

I find that motivation comes and goes throughout life. I have gone through periods when I need a short (or long) break from writing, but I always come back to it.

I’m 74, been to Vietnam, worked in a coal mine, a steel mill, a dairy, and finally retired from a public utility after near 30 years employment at a generating station in Western Pa. Believe me, what you say is true. Sometimes, I think the lack of interest in writing comes from diverse and compelling alternate changes in our lives.

When I was sixteen, I spend all my evenings helping a guy in his twenties work on his cars! I couldn’t wait to get to his garage after school. This when on for six months. Then one day everything stopped and I when to the pool hall after school and lost all interest in the garage. A couple of times he called me for he needed help pulling out an engine. I did help him, but after the engine was pulled, back to the pool hall I went. Then a few months at the pool hall, I started to go to the YMCA for Judo classes! Our interests can ebb and flow for reasons that I don’t understand. Nice talking with you.

Jess

I needed these tips, I’m being asked to help with a story that is full of punctuation errors, strange paragraph indents, is written in a pov style I don’t like, has almost no description and the dialogue is on the nose, the main pov is immediately agreed with and given whatever they need. I don’t even know where to start! 😵 I feel like when I first started it’s so overwhelming many things to fix and learn. Poor author! Nobody’s ever told them about these issues. How can I help them in a kind way? I’ve got to figure this out.

My first suggestion would be to filter out anything you “don’t like.” You might not like first-person, but that’s your personal taste, and commenting on it is not constructive criticism, because many people like and even prefer first-person POV.

When I’ve provided feedback on writing that needed a ton of work, I sometimes make a list of issues that I will address, and then in my notes, I will mention that the feedback didn’t look at all aspects of the writing. For example, I might focus on story and structure, so I would include notes about dialogue, but I would leave out the strange paragraph indents, and then I would note that the feedback is focused on story and structure but does not address grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formatting. I don’t think it’s helpful to overwhelm young and new writers with too much feedback, so that’s one way to make the process a bit gentler.

Kymber Hawke

“…Devour the Food, Not the Hostess…” I liked them all, but that is my favorite one. 😀

I’m not going to lie…I was a little proud of that one when I wrote it! Thanks, Kymber.

V.M. Sang

I’m in two online critique groups. One point that both insist on is not being personal. I always start with something good. I think that might be a throwback to when I was a teacher,marking children’s work. I’ve only ever had one egotistical person. He asked for a critique ( not in the groups). His punctuation of dialogue was wrong. When I pointed it out (nicely), his reply was “That’s how I do it and I’m not changing it.” So why ask for a crit?

George Joshua

The best article on critiquing I have ever read. It hits my bookmark box straight. Thank you for the good work.

You’re welcome! I’m glad you found this helpful. Happy critiquing!

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How to Write a Critique that Develops Your Own Writing Skills

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Critiques are invaluable to writers. Getting feedback from other people is an essential part of crafting a good story. Providing feedback to others can also improve your own writing.

But not all critiques are equal. What is said and the way it is said can make a real difference to how useful the feedback is. By learning to critique well, you can improve both the feedback you provide and the feedback you receive.

Why Critiquing Is Good for Your Writing

Critiquing is an essential part of being in a writing community.  It allows you to support others in their work and in return they will support you by providing feedback on your stories.

But the benefits of critiquing go beyond quid pro quos and relationship building.

By its very nature, critiquing forces you to think carefully about the craft of writing. You look at what does and does not work in plotting, characterization, sentence structure, and all the other practical skills that bring a story to life. It’s like a revision session for the writerly part of your brain, one that prepares you to look with a more critical eye at what you’re writing. It helps you to do a better job.

One of the reasons why critiquing is so helpful for this is that it provides a sense of distance. Because you’re not looking at your own work, your evaluation isn’t prejudiced by knowledge of how the story is meant to work and what sentences are meant to mean. Your outsider perspective lets you practice critical evaluation without simultaneously going through the painful and difficult process of recognizing where you went wrong. Looking at someone else’s work, it’s easier to see how a particular approach falls flat. Then, when you find it in your own work, you’ll be ready to see the problem.

If critiquing is so valuable, how can you get it right?

Questions to Ask

Doing a good critique is all about asking the right questions.

The most fundamental question to ask at the start is what sort of critique this writer is looking for. They may have told you, explicitly or implicitly, when they gave you the manuscript. Perhaps you’re the first person to provide feedback and they want you to get into the guts of the story, evaluating whether the plot and characters work. Maybe it’s been evaluated by lots of people already and they’re just looking for a final polish, dealing with the use of language and spotting grammatical errors. If the author doesn’t tell you what they’re after then ask. That’s the best way to give them what they want.

Assuming that you’re providing a reasonably in-depth critique, what questions can you ask as you read the manuscript, to help you understand what is and isn’t working?

Firstly, did the story engage you? Did you feel emotionally involved and care about what was happening? What about it made you feel this way?

Were you ever bored? This is usually a sign of sections of the story that dragged. Even if the story is generally gripping, you can spot parts that weren’t as compelling by noting when your mind wandered from the story or you put it down to do something else.

How effective was the opening? The start of a story is vital in creating reader engagement, so look at whether this worked and why. Was it dramatic? Did it make you care about the characters involved? Why?

Characters are the heart of any story, so evaluating them is important. What did you think of each of the central characters – liked them, hated them, forgot who they were? Hating a character is good if you’re meant to hate them, so consider how your reaction compares with what the author is trying to do. Not remembering a character or being confused about who they are is a bad sign, so flag up when this happens.

Consistency is also important in characters. Are their actions and voices distinctive, marking out who they are? Are they consistent across the story? If not, is there a reason for the change?

Watch out for any parts of the story you didn’t understand. Even if things became clear when you read back, that’s a problem, as other readers may be less forgiving. So note any points that are confusing or unclear.

Also, watch out for unbelievable events. What counts as unbelievable will depend on the story, so it’s important to consider the genre and the writer’s intent. But if the rules of the world suddenly change, a character acts in a way that doesn’t fit their personality so far, or an important element is introduced at just the right moment to solve a problem, then it can break the internal consistency that fosters belief.

Pitfalls to Avoid

There are certain traps that it’s easy to fall into when evaluating a story and that you should beware.

One of the most obvious is only talking about negatives. We’re so used to reading the work of professional writers and editors that good writing often fades into the background. It’s the negative that stands out.

To some extent, this is useful. After all, the person you’re critiquing for wants to know what to fix. But there are two reasons to also highlight the places where their writing shines. One is that this will show them what works, what to do more of, what not to change. The other is that reading completely negative feedback is a demoralizing experience. You want to encourage as well as inform, so pay attention to which parts of the story you particularly enjoyed and comment on that.

Even having found out what the author wants, it’s easy to slip into providing the wrong sort of feedback. If you’re someone who really prizes clean writing, it may be hard to resist focusing on typos and grammar problems, even on a first pass that should be about story and character. Similarly, when you’re asked to proofread for grammar and spelling, it may be tempting to comment on what you consider a gaping plot flaw. But if they’ve reached the proofreading stage then it’s probably too late to fix the plot and the person you’re critiquing has probably decided that they can live with it as it is.

Perhaps the most glaring sort of wrong feedback comes when the reader tries to turn the story into something they would write, rather than what the author is trying to achieve. If the person whose work you’re critiquing has written a grimdark tale of morally dubious adventurers then saying that you need a character to be nicer probably isn’t helpful. The same goes for changes to sentences – you’re not here to change someone else’s voice into yours. Consider whether the thing bothering you is actually a flaw, given what the writer is trying to achieve, or whether it’s just not to your taste.

Digging Deeper

Once you’ve read through the story, it’s worth stepping back and considering what effect it had, digging a little deeper into what’s been achieved.

What did you enjoy most? What did you dislike most? What are you still wondering about at the end? Commenting on these can help to ensure a balance of positive and negative feedback, as well as to focus the author’s attention on the things that most need fixing.

Consider the overall pacing of the piece. Dig it drag, leaving you bored and distracted, often setting it aside? Was it too fast, not giving you time to settle in and get to know the characters? Were some parts slower than others and did the pace pick up towards the end?

You might also consider the balance of different elements in the story. Did it lean heavily on dialogue, action, or description? Did that work for the story they were telling? Were there any words or phrases that felt overused?

Providing the Feedback

Having assembled your thoughts, it’s time to provide feedback.

Try to make it constructive, starting with some overall positives before getting into the problems and the nitty-gritty of the story.

Unless you’re looking at the detail of grammar and spelling, don’t try to provide specific solutions. “This section could do with a faster pace” is useful. Chopping up their sentences, creating that faster pace in your own style, means intruding with an authorial voice that may not fit.

Be clear and concise. It’s tempting, especially when you’re uncomfortable giving criticism, to ramble around the point. This just means that the author has to spend longer caught up in that problem, working out what you mean.

Think about how you would respond to the feedback you’re giving and consider how you could phrase it to make it more palatable without missing the point.

Providing good feedback will help you to practice analyzing your work and finding constructive ways to approach problems. It will also provide an example to others, increasing the likelihood that you’ll get the feedback you need. So take the time to do it well, do it constructively, and do it in the way that will provide most help.

About the author

Andrew knighton.

Andrew Knighton is a Yorkshire based ghostwriter, responsible for writing many books in other people's names. He's had over fifty stories published in his own name in places such as Daily Science Fiction and Wily Writers. His steampunk adventure series, The Epiphany Club, is out now in all e-book formats, and the first volume, Guns and Guano, is available for free from Amazon or Smashwords. You can find free stories and links to more of his books at andrewknighton.com and follow him on Twitter where he’s @gibbondemon.

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What Is a Critique in Composition?

Tips on Writing a Peer Review

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  • An Introduction to Punctuation
  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
  • M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
  • B.A., English, State University of New York

A critique is a formal analysis and evaluation of a text , production, or performance—either one's own (a self-critique ) or someone else's. In composition , a critique is sometimes called a response paper . When written by another expert in the field, a critique can also be called a peer review . Peer reviews are done to decide whether to accept an article for publication in a scholarly journal or, in an education setting, can be done in groups of students who offer feedback to each other on their papers ( peer response ).

Critiques differ from reviews (these are also different from peer reviews) in that critiques offer more depth to their analysis. Think of the difference between a scholarly article examining a work of literature in a journal (critique) and the kinds of topics that would be covered there vs. a few-hundred-word review of a book in a newspaper or magazine for the lay audience, for readers to decide whether they should purchase it. 

Compare the term critique with  critical analysis ,   critical essay ,  and evaluation essay .

Critiquing criteria  are the standards, rules, or tests that serve as the bases for judgments. 

Critiquing a Paper

A critique starts out with a summary of the topic of the paper but differs from a straight summary because it adds the reviewer's analysis.

If a critique is happening to the first draft of a paper, the issues brought by the reviewers need to be large-scale issues with the premise or procedure of obtaining the results—in the case of a scientific paper peer review—and arguments, such as flaws in logic or source material and fallacies, rather than be criticisms on a line level (grammar and the like). Ambiguity and irony presented in the paper could be targets as well.

"The critique is the process of objectively and critically evaluating a research report's content for scientific merit and application to practice, theory, and education, write Geri LoBiondo-Wood and Judith Haber. "It requires some knowledge of the subject matter and knowledge of how to critically read and use critiquing criteria." ("Nursing Research: Methods and Critical Appraisal for Evidence-Based Practice." Elsevier Health Sciences, 2006)

A critique should also point out what works well, not just the flaws in the paper. 

"A critique should emphasize first what the article contributes to the field and then identify the shortcomings or limitations," write authors H. Beall and J. Trimbur. "In other words, a critique is a balanced appraisal, not a hatchet job." ("How to Read a Scientific Article." In "Communicating Science: Professional Contexts," ed. by Eileen Scanlon et al. Taylor & Francis, 1998)

The Purpose of a Critique

Arguments by the reviewer also need to be backed up with evidence. It isn't enough just to say that the paper in question is flawed but also how it's flawed and why—what's the proof that the argument won't hold up?

"It is important to be clear about what a critique is supposed to accomplish," write authors C. Grant Luckhardt and William Bechtel. They continue:

A critique is not the same as a demonstration that the  conclusion  of someone's  argument  is false. Imagine that someone has circulated a memorandum arguing that your company retain your current legal counsel. You, however, are convinced that it is time for a change, and want to demonstrate that....It is important to note here that you can prepare such a demonstration without mentioning any of your colleague's arguments or  rebutting  them. A critique of your colleague's demonstration, in contrast, requires you to examine the arguments in the demonstration and show that they fail to establish the conclusion that the current legal counsel should be retained. "A critique of your colleague's demonstration does not show that its conclusion is wrong. It only shows that the arguments advanced do not establish the conclusion it is claimed they do." ("How to Do Things With Logic." Lawrence Erlbaum, 1994)

Self-Critiques in Creative Writing

A related term to critiquing used frequently in scholarly Bible study is exegesis, though it doesn't apply only to Bible scholarship.

"An exegesis (in a creative writing discourse )...is a scholarly piece of writing with a focus on textual analysis and comparison using literature which relates to your creative writing project. Usually an exegesis is longer than a critique and reads more like a dissertation. There tends to be greater emphasis on your chosen comparative text than on your own creative writing project, with a clear thesis linking the two. "The good news is, once you learn how to write a critique on your creative process, you will find that it actually helps you to better understand your creative writing." (Tara Mokhtari,  The Bloomsbury Introduction to Creative Writing . Bloomsbury, 2015)
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Out of the Centre

Savvino-storozhevsky monastery and museum.

Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery and Museum

Zvenigorod's most famous sight is the Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery, which was founded in 1398 by the monk Savva from the Troitse-Sergieva Lavra, at the invitation and with the support of Prince Yury Dmitrievich of Zvenigorod. Savva was later canonised as St Sabbas (Savva) of Storozhev. The monastery late flourished under the reign of Tsar Alexis, who chose the monastery as his family church and often went on pilgrimage there and made lots of donations to it. Most of the monastery’s buildings date from this time. The monastery is heavily fortified with thick walls and six towers, the most impressive of which is the Krasny Tower which also serves as the eastern entrance. The monastery was closed in 1918 and only reopened in 1995. In 1998 Patriarch Alexius II took part in a service to return the relics of St Sabbas to the monastery. Today the monastery has the status of a stauropegic monastery, which is second in status to a lavra. In addition to being a working monastery, it also holds the Zvenigorod Historical, Architectural and Art Museum.

Belfry and Neighbouring Churches

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Located near the main entrance is the monastery's belfry which is perhaps the calling card of the monastery due to its uniqueness. It was built in the 1650s and the St Sergius of Radonezh’s Church was opened on the middle tier in the mid-17th century, although it was originally dedicated to the Trinity. The belfry's 35-tonne Great Bladgovestny Bell fell in 1941 and was only restored and returned in 2003. Attached to the belfry is a large refectory and the Transfiguration Church, both of which were built on the orders of Tsar Alexis in the 1650s.  

critique paper quora

To the left of the belfry is another, smaller, refectory which is attached to the Trinity Gate-Church, which was also constructed in the 1650s on the orders of Tsar Alexis who made it his own family church. The church is elaborately decorated with colourful trims and underneath the archway is a beautiful 19th century fresco.

Nativity of Virgin Mary Cathedral

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The Nativity of Virgin Mary Cathedral is the oldest building in the monastery and among the oldest buildings in the Moscow Region. It was built between 1404 and 1405 during the lifetime of St Sabbas and using the funds of Prince Yury of Zvenigorod. The white-stone cathedral is a standard four-pillar design with a single golden dome. After the death of St Sabbas he was interred in the cathedral and a new altar dedicated to him was added.

critique paper quora

Under the reign of Tsar Alexis the cathedral was decorated with frescoes by Stepan Ryazanets, some of which remain today. Tsar Alexis also presented the cathedral with a five-tier iconostasis, the top row of icons have been preserved.

Tsaritsa's Chambers

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The Nativity of Virgin Mary Cathedral is located between the Tsaritsa's Chambers of the left and the Palace of Tsar Alexis on the right. The Tsaritsa's Chambers were built in the mid-17th century for the wife of Tsar Alexey - Tsaritsa Maria Ilinichna Miloskavskaya. The design of the building is influenced by the ancient Russian architectural style. Is prettier than the Tsar's chambers opposite, being red in colour with elaborately decorated window frames and entrance.

critique paper quora

At present the Tsaritsa's Chambers houses the Zvenigorod Historical, Architectural and Art Museum. Among its displays is an accurate recreation of the interior of a noble lady's chambers including furniture, decorations and a decorated tiled oven, and an exhibition on the history of Zvenigorod and the monastery.

Palace of Tsar Alexis

critique paper quora

The Palace of Tsar Alexis was built in the 1650s and is now one of the best surviving examples of non-religious architecture of that era. It was built especially for Tsar Alexis who often visited the monastery on religious pilgrimages. Its most striking feature is its pretty row of nine chimney spouts which resemble towers.

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Geographic coordinates of Elektrostal, Moscow Oblast, Russia

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Coordinates of Elektrostal in decimal degrees

Coordinates of elektrostal in degrees and decimal minutes, utm coordinates of elektrostal, geographic coordinate systems.

WGS 84 coordinate reference system is the latest revision of the World Geodetic System, which is used in mapping and navigation, including GPS satellite navigation system (the Global Positioning System).

Geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) define a position on the Earth’s surface. Coordinates are angular units. The canonical form of latitude and longitude representation uses degrees (°), minutes (′), and seconds (″). GPS systems widely use coordinates in degrees and decimal minutes, or in decimal degrees.

Latitude varies from −90° to 90°. The latitude of the Equator is 0°; the latitude of the South Pole is −90°; the latitude of the North Pole is 90°. Positive latitude values correspond to the geographic locations north of the Equator (abbrev. N). Negative latitude values correspond to the geographic locations south of the Equator (abbrev. S).

Longitude is counted from the prime meridian ( IERS Reference Meridian for WGS 84) and varies from −180° to 180°. Positive longitude values correspond to the geographic locations east of the prime meridian (abbrev. E). Negative longitude values correspond to the geographic locations west of the prime meridian (abbrev. W).

UTM or Universal Transverse Mercator coordinate system divides the Earth’s surface into 60 longitudinal zones. The coordinates of a location within each zone are defined as a planar coordinate pair related to the intersection of the equator and the zone’s central meridian, and measured in meters.

Elevation above sea level is a measure of a geographic location’s height. We are using the global digital elevation model GTOPO30 .

The Unique Burial of a Child of Early Scythian Time at the Cemetery of Saryg-Bulun (Tuva)

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In 1988, the Tuvan Archaeological Expedition (led by M. E. Kilunovskaya and V. A. Semenov) discovered a unique burial of the early Iron Age at Saryg-Bulun in Central Tuva. There are two burial mounds of the Aldy-Bel culture dated by 7th century BC. Within the barrows, which adjoined one another, forming a figure-of-eight, there were discovered 7 burials, from which a representative collection of artifacts was recovered. Burial 5 was the most unique, it was found in a coffin made of a larch trunk, with a tightly closed lid. Due to the preservative properties of larch and lack of air access, the coffin contained a well-preserved mummy of a child with an accompanying set of grave goods. The interred individual retained the skin on his face and had a leather headdress painted with red pigment and a coat, sewn from jerboa fur. The coat was belted with a leather belt with bronze ornaments and buckles. Besides that, a leather quiver with arrows with the shafts decorated with painted ornaments, fully preserved battle pick and a bow were buried in the coffin. Unexpectedly, the full-genomic analysis, showed that the individual was female. This fact opens a new aspect in the study of the social history of the Scythian society and perhaps brings us back to the myth of the Amazons, discussed by Herodotus. Of course, this discovery is unique in its preservation for the Scythian culture of Tuva and requires careful study and conservation.

Keywords: Tuva, Early Iron Age, early Scythian period, Aldy-Bel culture, barrow, burial in the coffin, mummy, full genome sequencing, aDNA

Information about authors: Marina Kilunovskaya (Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation). Candidate of Historical Sciences. Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Dvortsovaya Emb., 18, Saint Petersburg, 191186, Russian Federation E-mail: [email protected] Vladimir Semenov (Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation). Candidate of Historical Sciences. Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Dvortsovaya Emb., 18, Saint Petersburg, 191186, Russian Federation E-mail: [email protected] Varvara Busova  (Moscow, Russian Federation).  (Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation). Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences.  Dvortsovaya Emb., 18, Saint Petersburg, 191186, Russian Federation E-mail:  [email protected] Kharis Mustafin  (Moscow, Russian Federation). Candidate of Technical Sciences. Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.  Institutsky Lane, 9, Dolgoprudny, 141701, Moscow Oblast, Russian Federation E-mail:  [email protected] Irina Alborova  (Moscow, Russian Federation). Candidate of Biological Sciences. Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.  Institutsky Lane, 9, Dolgoprudny, 141701, Moscow Oblast, Russian Federation E-mail:  [email protected] Alina Matzvai  (Moscow, Russian Federation). Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.  Institutsky Lane, 9, Dolgoprudny, 141701, Moscow Oblast, Russian Federation E-mail:  [email protected]

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