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View Full Version : Critique vs Review - What is the difference?



PiP
September 12th, 2017, 11:46 PM
Opinions, please? :)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrdMzYF6Olw

Neetu
September 13th, 2017, 12:34 AM
I would think that critique is an analysis of a poem from various angles - form, content, meaning, interpretation and suggestions for improvement, whereas review is more an opinion/commentary and reaction to a poem. In my perfectly layman terms. :)

Chesters Daughter
September 13th, 2017, 02:40 AM
cri·tique
kriˈtēk/
noun


1.
a detailed analysis and assessment of something, especially a literary, philosophical, or political theory.


synonyms:
analysis, evaluation, assessment, appraisal, appreciation, criticism, review, study, commentary, exposition, exegesis"a critique of North American culture"



verb



1.
evaluate (a theory or practice) in a detailed and analytical way.
"the authors critique the methods and practices used in the research"


crit·i·cism
ˈkridəˌsizəm/
noun


1.
the expression of disapproval of someone or something based on perceived faults or mistakes.
"he received a lot of criticism"


synonyms:
censure, condemnation, denunciation, disapproval, disparagement, opprobrium, fault-finding, attack, broadside, stricture, recrimination; More



2.
the analysis and judgment of the merits and faults of a literary or artistic work.
"alternative methods of criticism supported by well-developed literary theories"


synonyms:
[COLOR=#1A0DAB]evaluation, assessment, appraisal, analysis, judgment; More




One of my my biggest pet peeves is the word criticism being used in lieu of the word critique. However similar they may appear in certain aspects of meaning, especially when it comes to literary efforts, the word criticism has automatic negativity attached to it. A critique may not have an ounce of criticism in it, but criticism is ALWAYS indicative that something is grossly awry. Critique is an analysis, while criticism always cites fault. I don't feel the two should be interchanged so nonchalantly. Grain of salt, merely my opinion.

As for critique vs. review, there are differences as exemplified by the posted video. Critique is an analysis of the technical prowess of the work. It's examining what or what not is acceptable based upon universally accepted concepts. Review focuses less upon technical ability and more upon a reader's perception of what they've read.

On our boards, both critique and review are often combined in our posts. Two for the price of one, which is a very beneficial situation because it offers the best of both worlds. Thread starters are given advice that is both objective and subjective thereby giving them the opportunity to consider what's technically askew as well as readers' perceptions. A good deal of edit suggestions are born of the co-mingling of the two. Thread starters need to be able to differentiate between them. Glaring technical errors such as poor grammar, forced rhyme, meter that feels as if one's driven down a pot hole ridden back road in a stalling jalopy with two flats, misspelling, lack of cohesion or an outright inability to comprehend a work means the work should likely be tweaked.

Reviews based upon opinion are equally valuable in that they express what readers do or do not like, but thread starters must realize that the personal opinions of reviewers do not necessarily a faulty poem make. Different strokes for different strokes, what doesn't work for one, may likely appeal to another. It's this portion of critique that may or may not carry weight. It's up to the poet to decide whether or not to take them on board. Learning the difference between what is objective and what is subjective is essential for everyone who creates a thread and is seeking critique. "You have 17 typos and no rhythm at all" begs tending to. "I don't like your content for one reason or another" begs some mulling over. Grain of salt again, merely my opinion.

Darkkin
September 13th, 2017, 03:34 AM
Critique of this video, lose the bouncing font...On a more serious note, review is a part of critique, the whole all cacti are succulents but not all succulents are cacti. Critique is more technical while review is more rudimentary, one step of the critique process. Not overly impressed with the video, all bounce and no real substance. An active comparision between the two e.g. An actual book review and a complete critique with technical aspects placed side by side...

Review is a physical exam with an X-ray, critique is neurosurgery. One skimming the surface, the other a precise process started with the physical exam.

Thorough critique will possess the elements of both, not just the technical or merely the subjective. It is not a contest between the two, nor should it be.

I think a more pretinent question might be is a critique possible without the element of review? In all honesty, I don't thinks so. If it is only the technical, it is merely proofreading or basic editing. Critique is the total sum of editing and review. Critique includes both the objective and subjective sides. The objective aspect being misconstrued as critique instead of the editing process. The fault in the logic rests in the factoring. Thorough readers, writers consider the objective and the subjective, as one will effect the other. Ripple.

Pete_C
September 14th, 2017, 11:05 AM
My response is purely in context of WF; note that before rolling up your sleeves and taking issue!

To me, critique forms a constructive and technical-based workshop experience in which an unfinished poem or piece of prose is offered up for views from other writers. The person posting is pretty much flagging that the piece is neither finished nor perfect, and that they need some feedback or guidance on how to move it forward. As a result a critique cannot be 'this stinks' or 'this is great', because the writer themselves is posting to correct or improve something. They have acknowledged it needs work by putting it forward for others to dedicate time and effort to help them. This is why when people kick back against the crits offered I tend to not bother responding again. Why ask for help and then reject it?

Both the private workshops and the open areas (Verse/Prose) are clearly flagged as being for critique. It's simply a question of whether you happy to put a piece in the public domain or prefer it to be retained as unpublished. As far as I am aware, there is no space on WF for reviews, and maybe this leads to the kicking back. If someone considers a piece finished and complete, and doesn't want any help, then it is ready for review.

Maybe if there were separate areas for review and critique it might stop some of the quibbling that goes on. That said, if some writers reject constructive critique, imagine the wailing and gnashing of teeth if they received honest reviews. Just as 'this is great' is a valid review, so is 'this sucks'. Reviews can be cruel, harsh, dismissive and painful, but cannot be argued with because the writer is seeking a person's own opinion on a finished product.

Critique can be subjective, but it shouldn't be. I will point out to people if I don't like the tone/theme/content of their work, but still try to offer suggestions. If I was reviewing, well, it could turn into a shit storm!

The outside world is the place for reviews, and if poets or writers truly believe their work is finished and as perfect as it ever will be, that's the place to put it! Of course, if they get a kicking they can't strut around proclaiming their brilliance, because readers will just laugh at them. WF is, in my opinion, more about critique, so is not the place for final or completed works. It's where writers come to workshop and develop and debate, not to preen and strut around displaying their self-proclaimed pearls of wisdom.

Critique and review have few similarities; ask for both and see what comes rolling in!

sas
September 14th, 2017, 02:15 PM
I certainly agree with Pete, but to a point.

Before I submit my poem, I work very hard on it. I believe it to be well done and cannot find its weakness. (Although sometimes, when I am aware of what one might be, I specifically point it out, in parenthesis, for scrutiny.) I always want and welcome suggestions, though. It is hard to see flaws in our own writing. I only say this because some just seem to throw their poems up without putting much work into them. They post it exactly as they first wrote it. It is rude to assume others should put more effort into it than they did. So, post what you believe is your best work.

Darkkin
September 14th, 2017, 03:36 PM
My response is purely in context of WF; note that before rolling up your sleeves and taking issue!

To me, critique forms a constructive and technical-based workshop experience in which an unfinished poem or piece of prose is offered up for views from other writers. The person posting is pretty much flagging that the piece is neither finished nor perfect, and that they need some feedback or guidance on how to move it forward. As a result a critique cannot be 'this stinks' or 'this is great', because the writer themselves is posting to correct or improve something. They have acknowledged it needs work by putting it forward for others to dedicate time and effort to help them. This is why when people kick back against the crits offered I tend to not bother responding again. Why ask for help and then reject it?


I think a bit of that issue rests with the fact that a portion of members here are hobbist, (causal interest), writers. Many don't know the difference between true critique and review. They assume they are one and the same, and even with manifold information explaining the topic readily available, they don't want to be bothered with learning the difference. Some writers post simply for the sake of being 'published'. The technical aspects never enter into the equation and woe betide anyone who has an opinion that differs from 'Good job!'

Writing is an active process and if a piece has held up under critique then chances are the bones are good. Even mild critique can wreak havoc with shaky foundations and causal writers often take offense at the fact. WF is definitely more about the critique process than that of review. But those who do know how to critique generally have thicker hides than those devestated by it quite simply because the critiquers know what critique truly is. 'They didn't like my work...' Cue the end of the world. Objectivity is something that is too easily lost when the drama starts.

Proper review, like true critique needs to be unbaised with work shown. Why did the reader not like character X, support with points A. B. C. Without the whys it is edging into the murky areas of 'Because I said so' reasoning and that is a mire no one ever gets out of. I work at a bookstore so I read book reviews, like critique there is structure and method to it. Yes, everyone is entitled to their opinion and as it is an opinion it is neither right nor wrong, but for something to be convincing, it has to have facts and impressions supporting it. Just because someone screams 'This sucks...' doesn't make it true and it is why a thick hide is a must.

Recently I was told I didn't have a right to claim the poetry I write because I don't understand what my words really mean. My work belongs to the people who truly know how to read poetry. That was a review of my work...;) The rest of the language included in that individual's insight into my poetry was a bit more colourful. Presented in person at my critique group...(That lovely bit of irony was lost on me at the time.)

Review is the last step in the process. Critique the first, but as it works with both the technical aspects and the content, some review will occur as a part of the critical thinking process. Our emotions, opinions, thoughts, and reactions happen whether we want them to or not. Critique teaches readers to articulate their whys and it is a skill that it essential for both revision and a basic review. And a review, while it is an opinion, is still considered technical writing and is therefor subject to the same expectations of critique. It is the difference between an opinion and an informed opinion.

- D.