The components of constructive criticism include:
- objectivity No need to run down someone's work because it doesn't appeal to you.
- encouragement Your goal is to educate, not embarrass.
- honesty that reflects sensitivity to the writer's feelings
- specificity Rather than ramble about the article's weak spots, get to the point.
What's in it for the writer? The benefits of receiving constructive criticism depend on the receiver. Ideally the writer will be open to others' thoughts and opinions. The writer can learn differing points of view and more fully understand how his or her work was received by others.
My experience in receiving concise feedback is that I feel very affirmed. I know that my work was carefully read. I consider what others had to say and then compare that to how I intended my work to be interpreted. If I feel a valid point was made, I have an opportunity to change my words. I don't have to take every comment, regardless of who makes it, and acquiesce to their suggestions. Sometimes, I believe I wrote exactly what I meant to say and I don't change my words.
By Susan Budig, Mindful Poet