1. onionmon
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    onionmon New Member

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    review a paragraph, not a document?

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by onionmon, Sep 6, 2008.

    Do you (as a writer) ever have someone review just a paragraph of a larger document? Is this common or when a person asks for a review, they usually want a review of the whole document?

    I ask because I am working on a project that can help users in reviewing. I can't reveal too many details yet though...
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Very often, a paragraph or two is all I need to point out issues that I feel need to be addressed first. Usually those paragraphs represent the rest of the piece well.

    I'm not greatly in favor of trying to point out every instance of what I see as a problem throughout a piece. I prefer to look through and see if the same issues appear repeatedly. Pointing out those first by a single example gives the writer "the most bang for the buck" if I can explain the issue in terms of a general principle.

    I also think that dumping too many issues on a writer's lap is counterproductive. Around three to five issues is the ideal number in terms of retaining and applying principles/rules/guidelines.

    The three to five rule is widely used in debating, essays, and oral presentations as the optimum number of distinct points most people can retain and apply from a single session.
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I have to agree with Cog. There was a time when I would go through an entire work and snag every single error and misspelling. I don’t do this anymore 1) because people actually get paid to do this kind of work and 2) I don’t think it helps the writer as much as pointing out the reason or cause for a given error and then let them go about the task of fixing said errors in the rest of the document, thus reinforcing the correct implementation of grammar or punctuation.
     
  4. Kylie
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    Kylie Contributing Member

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    For me, it depends. Sometimes, when the story is short, I'm willing to read the whole thing, because (in general) I enjoy reading. When it's long, I focus on the first few paragraphs and skim through the rest.
    Like Cogito said... I also try to point out the more common mistakes I noticed in the piece instead of the "once in a lifetime" ones.
     
  5. onionmon
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    onionmon New Member

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    It seems from everyone's responses, that from a reviewer side, you read 2-3 paragraphs, get the gist of the paper and being commenting.

    Now if you were writing and finished a document, would you ever just submit a paragraph or 2 to be reviewed? Would that be useful?
     
  6. Kylie
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    Kylie Contributing Member

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    I usually submit the whole thing, because I think some people are willing to read the whole thing. As I said earlier, when I review other people's work, I read the first few paragraphs and skim through the rest. I actually like it better when people submit the whole story so I could finish reading the story if I needed/wanted to (if you know what I mean.) :)
     

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