|How to Post Your Work for Peer Critique|
To post your writing about the
environment online, log in to Blackboard
and go to the course, Creativewriting About the Environment, which is now in the Community part of Blackboard. Once you get there, select Discussion Group. There, you
can start a thread with a work of your own (attaching word docs. is
probably best.) or comment upon a thread that someone else has begun.
After works have been critiqued by students on Blackboard, I will
begin to select ones to post to the Web site and create a sort of online literary magazine of nature writing.
Students in the J-term class "Words and the Land" survey the power of Cumberland Falls in January 2004.
Photo by Chris Shibley
The key to any critique is to offer constructive criticism that will help writers understand what they are doing that works, what needs work, and what they can do to improve a piece. As a workshopper, you have to walk a line between being tough and being tender. Just be sure to fully explain good reasons for your judgment of a work.
In the creative nonfiction class I taught in the Spring of 2004, I gave students some general guidelines to use in their written critiques of creative work. Select here to see those guidelines, which are general enough that I think they will work for fiction, poetry and journalism. In addition, I have posted some critiques from students in that class so that you can see good examples of helpful responses to creative writing. These students do a good job of being specific about what they like or dislike about a work, why they like or dislike it, and what might be done to improve the work.