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De Anza College Cultural Identity and Self Categorization Critique Letter

De Anza College Cultural Identity and Self Categorization Critique Letter

Question Description

I’m working on a english writing question and need a sample draft to help me understand better.

Following the workshop protocol detailed in this module, write a personal letter to each student in your peer workshop group. The letters should be 250 to 300 words (approximately one page) each.

1. It’s important that you start your letter with what’s working well in the story. In the first paragraph, quote a specific moment that has stayed with you and explain why, in terms of craft. Giving specific praise is important because authors need to discover their strengths so that they can nurture those aspects of their writing.

2. Next, give the author a one-sentence plot synopsis of the story. Remember that a story should have a beginning, middle, and end. If there is something missing (like a clear conflict, turning point or crisis, or ending), then indicate the problem.

3. In the next few paragraphs, talk about how the author could improve the story. Point out places where you struggled with the story or where you saw revision opportunities.

Use the following list of questions to help you figure out what you want to say in your peer letters:

  • Does the beginning have an original hook and pull the reader in to the protagonist’s specific, high-stakes obstacle? (If not, make a specific suggestion.)
  • Is the protagonist round and believable or stereotypical? Is the protagonist dynamic (i.e., does the protagonist change as a result of the plot events)? Does the protagonist demonstrate agency (i.e., does the protagonist actively make a decision that impacts the outcome of the story)? (If roundness, dynamism, or agency is missing, give specifics regarding what the author could do to improve the character.)
  • Does the author use a balance of showing and telling? (Mention a particular moment that could benefit from showing, and write an example of how it could be done.)
  • Is there a deeper meaning to this story, or is it merely entertaining to the reader? Is the story only focused on plot/action, or is there an examination of a universal truth? List one or two themes of the story. Are the themes shown, or told to the reader?
  • Does a tipping or turning point or crisis lead to an ending that achieves resonance? Which type of ending (from the list of ineffective or effective endings included in this module) does the author use in this story? (Give an example of what the author could do to improve the crisis or achieve resonance.)
  • Notice that these questions are taken from the expectations on the rubric. You don’t need to answer every one of these questions. Instead, choose a few and go into detail.
  • While it’s also helpful to mention specific grammar or spelling errors, the bulk of your letter should focus on the elements of craft (using the guiding questions above) that we’ve been discussing so far this semester.

4. Finally, end your letter with questions for the author. The questions should provoke the author as they begin to revise. Don’t ask a question out of curiosity, such as “Where did you come up with this idea?” because that won’t help the author.

Think of useful questions that let the author know what you found confusing or what you’d like to see developed.

Please post critique letters for two peer drafts

Formatting instructions:

  • Using the “create new post” tool for each letter, paste the text of the letter into the text box. (This means you should have two posts in this topic, no attachments.)
  • Title each post “Peer critique letter for [student’s name].”

Please use this opportunity to both demonstrate what you’ve learned about the elements of craft and help your workshop-mates by being detailed and specific. Offer examples of where the author could be more subtle or impactful. A strong peer critique letter takes at least a 1/2 hour to write, while a one-paragraph critique letter is rarely useful.

Be sure not to respond to any feedback that you receive here, per The Booth workshop method.


Let me know if you have any questions,

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