Criticisms– If you have an opinion, back it up

This semester (my last) is one where I’m paying more attention to the criticisms I’m getting. Since I’m in Creative Writing criticisms are the biggest part of the class, thus making me focus on them more. I also have a class where we had to give a presentation that is student graded which is really what drew my attention to this issue.

I’ve been especially critical this semester. Since it’s my last semester I feel like I have the knowledge and the experience to allow myself to voice my opinions. In the past not so much. So this semester I’m being a lot more vocal and a lot more critical. When I’m looking at other classmates writing or watching their presentations I look for things that can be better. I’m not really looking at grammatical errors since I know that’s not my strong point. I look at the flow of ideas and sentences, the plausibility of the ideas, the details and things that could be added, etc. I look for things that can make the piece stronger. Things I’d want others to point out in my own things. What I don’t do is tell them it sucks without telling them why.

That is the issue I want to address with this topic. I had an instance where a person gave me all 7s (out of 10) on my presentation and left the comments section of the paper completely blank. Not only did they do it with mine but they did it with another girl as well. I respect opinions as long as there are reasons to back it up.

In creative writing I’ll never just come out and say I didn’t like their story without giving a reason. There’s always a reason and as a college student the reasons should be given. There are way too many dark and cruel things in the world to add just mean comments. Personally I don’t mind if a someone has a mean comment about my work or my presentation as long as they have the support to back it up. This bothers me especially since I’m in college and college settings are where your supposed to be backing up your answers. That’s what they teach you regardless if you’re an English major or a Math major. You always have to back up your argument.

So for everyone reading this. If you’re one of those people who doesn’t back up their arguments, please stop and think about what you’d want. Academic settings are meant to have criticisms but you’re supposed to have something substantial to back up your claims. Don’t just tell a person their presentation or their paper sucked. Give them something they can work with so they know what not to do. In creative writing (for my fellow writers) help them by showing them exactly what made the story not work.

Spread the word guys. This is an important issue that also applies to life. There’s always going to be a reason for the criticisms. Back up your claims.

Until later Chaos Seekers!

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