A List of Possible things to look for in a Critique

How you critique will depend both on what your strengths are and what your partner is looking for. Having a clear vision of what she wants from your critique is very important – keep this in mind throughout your reading.

Here are some things that might be included in your critique:


For Fiction

Big Picture Stuff to Look For:  

  • Did you enjoy the story? Why or why not? 
  • Does it work as a whole? 
  • Consistency of main character
  • Consistency of other characters
  • Likability of main character
  • Likability of other characters
  • Are the motives of the characters understandable and logical to the story? Any awkward ones?
  • Is it appropriate for the chosen audience? 
  • How is the pacing? 
  • Are there any holes in the story?
  • Lack of information or description?
  • Are the good guy(s) likable and the bad guy(s) really bad?
  • Comments on the setting


Small Picture Stuff. Please watch out for:


  • Any awkward phrases (try to explain why they seemed awkward to you)
  • Typos, grammatical errors, punctuation problems, etc. (Some writers prefer to leave this until the editing stage)
  • Poor transitions 
  • Unrealistic dialogue 
  • Did the first paragraph grab your attention?
  • Balance of narrative and action
  • Repetitive use of words
  • Large sections of dialogue without hints to identify speakers
  • Point of view issues – Is the POV consistent throughout the piece?


For Non Fiction

Big Picture Stuff: 


  • Is it easy to read? 
  • Is it entertaining?  
  • Are there adequate illustrations or anecdotes and are they effective?
  • Is there adequate information? 
  • The overall structure – is it logical?


Small Picture Stuff:


  • Does the title catch your eye? 
  • Does the first sentence grab your attention?
  • Are the facts accurate? 
  • Are the references correct? 
  • Does it transition smoothly?
  • Are they any awkward phrases?
  • Incorrect grammar, misspellings, and so on.