Artful Critique Spring Workshop by Chip Crane May 12, 2015


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Learn strategies for critiquing the writing, not the writer.

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Artful Critique Spring Workshop by Chip Crane May 12, 2015

  1. 1. Artful Critique: Giving Friendly Feedback That Really Helps Chip Crane, Ph.D. May 12, 2015
  2. 2. Think like a a coach
  3. 3. Think like a coach Many people assume that they are poor writers and cannot improve. Think long-term: how do I help the writer improve for next time?
  4. 4. Respond as a reader
  5. 5. Respond as a reader I followed your explanation until the previous sentence, but I got lost in this shift to filling admin vacancies. This specialized term is clearly important, but I’m unfamiliar with it, so I miss out on the significance of the next sentence.
  6. 6. Convince them you are on their side
  7. 7. Convince your writers you are on their side In order for readers to really appreciate how important this partnership is, I recommend you emphasize it earlier in the paragraph.
  8. 8. Acknowledge what the writer is trying to do
  9. 9. Acknowledge what the writer is trying to do Your explanation of the policy is clear, but announcing the main idea at the beginning will connect it better to the section above.
  10. 10. Use a friendly tone
  11. 11. Use a friendly tone What’s the point? Too much detail. These are valuable details, but it’s difficult to see how they are connected to the overall focus.
  12. 12. Acknowledge what the writer is trying to do Don’t use passive voice. Don’t use passive voice!
  13. 13. Acknowledge what the writer is trying to do I see that your use of passive voice here puts effective emphasis on the project [being funded by headquarters]; however, readers will absorb the sentence better in the active voice, with “headquarters” as the subject funding the project.
  14. 14. Don’t “correct” the style… “Recommend” and “suggest”
  15. 15. “Recommend” and “suggest” Don’t start sentences with “there are.” I recommend finding a strong action verb and moving your subject to the beginning of the sentence.
  16. 16. Explain style changes
  17. 17. Explain style changes In addition to editing the text like this, provide development and analysis develop and analyze, add a comment like this: Making these the main verbs will make your sentence more engaging and emphasize these important actions even more.
  18. 18. Explain grammar rules (the first time)
  19. 19. Explain grammar rules This is a run-on sentence. You need to use a comma when joining two stand-alone sentences with a conjunction such as “and.”
  20. 20. Limit heavy editing to one or two paragraphs
  21. 21. Limit heavy editing Focus on one or two paragraphs. Encourage the writer to apply feedback everywhere else.
  22. 22. Empower your writers (don’t mark everything you see wrong)
  23. 23. Empower your writers Give them some autonomy by letting them make a few style choices of their own. Don’t become the writer. Think about long-term growth.
  24. 24. Thank you! If you have questions for the instructor or about the workshop, please contact: Dr. Chip Crane CPoint Consulting 410-507-6938 To learn more about the Center for Plain Language, go to www.centerforplainlanguage.or g Or contact: Rebecca Gholson