Asked • 08/03/19

Critique vs nitpicking?

During an in-class activity for my AP Lang class, each student did a cold read of a piece they chose, then all the students provided critique out loud and written on their own copy of the author's piece. I read a poem about my life, which mainly focused on my struggles with mental illness and sexuality. Most critique was fine and constructive, but one paper that I got back really made a negative impression on me; the anonymous student responded to my piece that I should have a "more positive mindset", and that my piece was bad solely because it focused on my depression/anxiety and, generally, the darker aspects of my life and what I have been through. This bit of feedback has stuck with me, and I don't know whether or not to call it a critique. From my perspective, as someone who is very sensitive and protective of my writing, the anonymous student's feedback made me feel bad and nervous to share with strangers and acquaintances in the future. I've had similar experiences like this, where people tell me what they dislike about my piece, but do not provide advice to fix it or any explanation of why they dislike certain portions. Is this critique, or is this nitpicking and a putdown? Can this be helpful in any way, or is it just destructive? Was I and am I being too sensitive?

1 Expert Answer


John G. answered • 08/03/19

4.6 (15)

Specialist in Research Projects, Story Continuity

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