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Workshop > Commenting - Part II
Jul 26

Commenting - Part II

There is a fine art in giving and receiving comments. This is an important lifelong skill.

Feedback or commenting is critical to great writing. And the more comments you give to your peers, the more you will receive. Share and be generous. To provide valuable feedback, you must read the writer's piece carefully and thoughtfully. What do you like about it? What questions are you left with? Is there an area that could use some improvement? Be clear, be kind, be engaged when giving comments. If your class set up guidelines on commenting in Commenting - Part I, review them before starting this challenge.
(Read more in Resources)

In this exercise: 

  • You and a classmate share a piece of writing, something relatively short and -- if possible -- needing a little help to lift it to the next level.
  • Read the piece through, without stopping.
  • Read it a second time, this time with a pencil in hand to make marks and comments as you go.
  • Take turns providing verbal comments. Always start with the positive. What do you like most about the piece? Then move on to some constructive criticism -- you might discover the one little problem that eluded the writer. (Remember: Great writers have great editors!)
  • When it's your turn to receive feedback, listen with an open mind and an open heart.

(Photo credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Shenali Wijesinghe, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2016)