Critique Cheat Sheet

Critique Cheat Sheet

frustrated woman

In the most recent installment of things that I’m doing instead of rebuilding my website (Don’t judge me.), I made a Critique Cheat Sheet! Here it is as a Google Doc.

So, why did I make it? I’ve been teaching at the college level for nearly ten years, and it never fails that peer reviews/ critiques get the most gripe from students. I thought it was just a student thing. Then, I started doing a bit of my own writing. Honestly, I was shocked when I noticed that many of my writing peers aren’t all that fond of it either.

While it’s totally possible to critique your own work, there is something undeniably magical about getting another perspective on your work. There’s the benefit of another point of view–someone bringing a different and fresh perspective thanks to their unique experiences. You get to see how someone relates and reacts to what you have written. This is true for academic and non-academic writing.

I believe that part of the anxiety surrounding critiques is not knowing where to start and not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings. (Hmmm…”How Not to Be in Your Feelings During a Critique” will likely be my second Critique Cheat Sheet.)

I hope that this first Critique Cheat Sheet helps to ease some of those anxious feelings. Let me know if you do decide to give it a try!


  1. Mary McClellan

    First, I love your use of “mom” as a verb. (I write. I teach. I mom.) Very handy critique cheat sheet. Having the right verbiage is very helpful, too. Teling someone something “pulled you out of the story” is so much better than……I don’t think I need to finish this sentence. 🙂 Thanks for the post.

    1. Ashley Franklin

      Thanks for reading, Mary! I think that any parent can tell you that being a mom or dad is much more than a noun?.

      The right verbiage is definitely essential for a strong critique. You can have the best advice for someone, but it’s not as helpful as it could be if you can’t find the words to properly convey that advice.

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