As a writer being critiqued, what works and doesn't work for you when a workshop partner or beta reader recommends you read a certain writer's guidebook or online advice article? Does it matter if the recommendation comes at the beginning or end of the critique, or just when they happen to think of it? Does the level of the advice to be derived from the source make a difference? When someone refers you to a given source of writing help, how does it strike you? Are you grateful? offended? enlightened? bemused? I've been on the receiving end of this sort of thing twice in the past few months, and both times it's pissed me off. And it wasn't so much the thing recommended, but the message the recommender sent. The first time was when a beta reader flagged a "missing" comma in my prologue and forthwith linked me to a site that, she said, would teach me how to use commas correctly. The joke is that what I'd written was a restrictive clause, which does not take a comma. The message I got from her supplying that link was, "I'm going to assume you are so stupid you don't even know basic SPaG; never mind that this is only the first page. I'm looking for an excuse not to like your work." It was no surprise that she bailed on me right after that. The second time was more recent, when another beta reader, at the top of the first page, at the very start of her preliminary general comments, emphatically urged me to buy and assimilate a book called How Not to Write a Novel: 200 Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs If You Ever Want to Get Published. I read the Look Inside of this manual several months ago and decided to give it a pass. Though funny in a way, it proceeds throughout as if you don't want to get published and rarely settles down to good, positive writing advice. This format is minimally useful to me. Moreover, I agree with the many reviewers, positive and negative, who say that the mistakes the authors cite are by and large those made by total beginners. I'm no literary expert, but neither am I a bloody novice. Will anyone be surprised that being referred to this book insulted and disturbed me? I keep telling myself that the beta meant well. Perhaps it would have made a difference if she had put the link at the end of her critique, as a by-the-way. Or if she'd said, "It bothered me that more than once you do x, y, and z. There's a place in this hilarious book How Not to Write a Novel where the authors comment on that. You might want to take a look." But the nature of the book and the place in the critique where she recommended it sent me the message: "Your whole novel is amateurish crap and you need your little hand held to get any better." As a critiquer myself, I sometimes link to outside sources, though I don't think I've ever recommended an entire book. My intended message is always, "I think you should attend to this, and it's not just me talking. Here's an authority you can rely on." Gosh, did I come off implying that the writer was ignorant? Though sometimes ignorance is definitely in play, as when I've linked to sites when fact-checking assertions in real-world novels I've beta-read. But that's not the same as linking to writing advice. At least, I don't think so. How has it been for you?