Critiques (literary magazine)

Video explanation

Critique etiquette

  • Show the author you are listening by not being distracted by cellphones, technology, someone sitting next to you, etc.
  • Give specific feedback. Tell the author what you liked about his or her story by referencing part of their work, but make sure to include improvements. However, word improvements kindly and always offer solutions.
  • Look out for/use specific criteria and literary terms when making notes or presenting feedback. For example, how was figurative language used to enhance the story? Was the characterization developed or shallow?



  • Know your content (quick reference bookmarks)
    • This resource is to help students critically think about what they want to share in their writing and to think about/question the artistic value of what they include in their work.
    • Example 1: A character is killed in a story for shock value.
      • What is the purpose of the character’s death to the story and why are the details of the event relevant to the plot?
    • Example 2: A story is written from the author’s personal experience. The author has to examine why they chose to write what they did and who the story can affect after they decide to share their personal experience with an audience.
      • What is the purpose of the story and the artistic value?
      • Is it purely therapeutic writing–like a diary–or is it something honed and prepped to publish?
      • Do you want to share your diary with the world, and would they want to read it?
      • How will the people featured in your story be affected?

Common Core

*Standard descriptions are summarized and modified to include assignment rationale/purpose in parentheses

“English Language Arts Standards” by Common Core State Standards Initiative

  • W: 3a (Write stories to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.)
  • W:4 (Students can write clearly and accurately. Students can create appropriate, organized writing with task, purpose and audience in mind)
  • SL: 1-4
    • ([P]articipate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions […] with diverse partners […] building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly)
    • (Present information […] concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task)
  • L. 9-10.5
    • Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
      • (Interpret figures of speech (e.g., euphemism, oxymoron) in context and analyze their role in the text).
      • (Analyze nuances in the meaning of words with similar denotations).

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