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Critique versus Criticism

People often confuse critique with criticism but they are quite different in definition and intent. The definitions for both are shown here:

 

 

 

Critique is to “evaluate (a theory or practice) in a detailed and analytical way.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Criticism means to “the expression of disapproval of someone or something on the basis of perceived faults or mistakes.”

 

 

 

 

As you can see the definitions are quite different as are the intents for both words. When someone offers to critique your work their intention is to provide feedback and to improve it so that your work is a better quality. They are looking for good and want to provide ways for you to make your work better quality. Criticism is about looking for fault. Most people that review your work are not looking for fault. If they are, then look for different reviewers.

So you have written an assessment and you want to gain feedback. When you ask someone to read it, you are asking them to critique it. Their intent is to improve your work.

Now the time they take to do this shows that they respect you. If your work comes back covered with markings and comments it means that they have spent their valuable time critiquing your work and providing feedback on ways you can improve it. If they only put a tick in the bottom of the page then they did not spend much time and you do not get much feedback. Remember, it is your name that is on the work when it is submitted, so this person is merely helping you to look better.

 

 

 

 

There are lots of people that can review your work and provide feedback: teachers, tutors, coaches, parents, other family members, peers and fellow students in online forums. Find your reviewers and use them often.

I would like you to consider changing your perspective about receiving feedback. Consider how much time that person put into giving you feedback and say “Thank you”. Their intention is for you to improve your work and gain better results. This shift will help you be more open to feedback and become more comfortable with the whole process. Give them permission to ‘write all over it in red’ and provide real feedback. The improvements will be of benefit to you.