1. MumblingSage
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    MumblingSage Contributing Member

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    Line-by-line reviews

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by MumblingSage, May 1, 2008.

    I've buzzed around the forums a bit, and I haven't seen anybody do one of these. Maybe I'm just missing them, but since they're the way I typically review I'm wondering if I need to change my style for this forum.

    A line-by-line, for those who haven't heard the term before (at least not as I know it), is basically copying the entire story into your post, and then adding your comments into the lines in a seperate color or font. It allows you to be exhaustive and to easily show where the problems are, but it does take up a lot of space and might be disruptive if the writer and other posters aren't expecting it.

    Can or should I do this in my reviews?
     
  2. Titania
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    Titania Contributing Member

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    I think plenty of people on the site do this, or something similar. I know in my case, I only quote the lines / parts I comment on, but it's the same concept.
     
  3. Oasis Writer
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    Oasis Writer Contributing Member Contributor

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    You can :) I've done them before. Honestly, you can critique a work however you decide to, as long as it's helpful, in my opinion. Sometimes, I point out grammar and spelling but not content, sometimes I do content but no grammar and spelling, sometimes both, and sometimes I go sentence for sentence. It's long, and hard, but it's helpful :)

    You don't have to change your style of critiquing, you just have to make sure you're not flaming anyone :D There's no rules on how you decide to critique. (Or at least, I don't think so)
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I believe a more useful review is to select 3-5 areas of potential improvement, and discuss those, with examples from the author's piece.

    An exhaustive, line-by-line review can be overwhelming for both the reviewer and the author. I believe a focused review has a better chance of resulting in real improvement without wasting either person's time.

    The full markup approach makes more sense when grading student papers, but even there I believe a summary that homes in on the key points is most beneficial.

    The exhaustive approach also risks losing sight of the forest while pruning the trees.
     
  5. MumblingSage
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    MumblingSage Contributing Member

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    Heh, I know I'm guilty of that. But then, I've made it my place in life to be a tree-pruner. Others can watch for forests. Though I'll keep your point in mind.
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I've done line by line, but only when my focus is on grammar, and only when the grammar is in need of intensive help.


    <-- Also a grammar Nazi
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Even there, I usually try to find what errors are repeated, and focus on those, with a comment that there are more.
     
  8. thelastblueberry
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    thelastblueberry New Member

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    It's great to critque things differently. It gives the writer many different types of feedback! The more feedback, the better. =)
     
  9. Gloom Kitty
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    Gloom Kitty Banned

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    I've seen a lot of reviews on this forum that are very simular, it is also the way I review a work.
     
  10. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    I review that way actually. I find it is better for the writer of the piece to understand what we are going on about. I do it for poetry as it is easier to point out exactly where problems arise.

    line-by-line reviewing works great, but can be a hassle in reviewing longer pieces as well. Depends on how much time a person has to review though.
     
  11. nacreous
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    nacreous New Member

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    personally, I find that more global advice is better than a line-by-line nitpicking crititque. Thats just me. I feel that reviewing is like being a travel agent... you dont tell the person where to go, just how to get where you think he wants to go. I find that simple advice, relating to the story or poem in general, is more helpful.
    I review by asking a question about the content, pointing to a problem, and by complimenting some aspect of the work... it seems to help.
    cheers
     
  12. MumblingSage
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    MumblingSage Contributing Member

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    Kk. Thanks all for your feedback. I think I'll go with my line-by-line for short pieces or pieces in need of heavy copyediting, and a more general approach for others. Keeping any of the author's wishes in mind, of course.
     

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