Whether online or in person, a writing workshop is only as successful as its participants. I’m not expecting you to be an expert at it this first time out, but I am expecting you to actively help your classmates construct awesome Critiques. The goal here is to give the person you’re workshopping with some praise and some suggestions for improvement.
Be respectful, but be honest.
Broad parameters for our workshop:
Point out and/or correct any grammar/mechanics/word choice issues that you encounter, but don’t make those issues all you focus on.
Try to engage the essay you read on an idea level, instead.
Look for context in the intro:
—author/publication/issue background info
Look for the qualities of a good summary:
Look for areas of expansion:
—are there enough support mechanisms/evidence in each body paragraph?
—is there ample analysis of support mechanisms? Could there be more?
Look for areas of cohesion:
—are there helpful transitions at the ends and beginnings of paragraphs?
Make at least three comments per page (all grammar comments count as one).
Make an end note (complete with “Dear _____,”) that summarizes your impressions (both good and not so good) and offers constructive, honest, respectful ways to turn this RD into a awesome FD.
I’d also suggest keeping a piece of paper out and jotting down any ideas you can “steal” from the RD’s you read.
Maybe listen to some writing music from the very old, very awesome Dinosaur, Jr.