How to Critique a Family Member\’s Writing

Creative writing is considered one of the most difficult activities in the world, as it requires a great deal of imagination and pushes individuals to think outside the box. For beginners, it can be extremely difficult to follow the right path and find their own voice, which is why they need plenty of guidance at the start. Most young and upcoming writers look for mentors, but no one can coach them better than an experienced family member, who is thoroughly acquainted with the nature and lifestyle of the writer. If you have to critique a family member’s writing, you must be very careful and provide a detailed, accurate, and thoughtful analysis, keeping in mind that you are not reading through some random individual’s work.


  • 1

    Go through the writing multiple times

    In order to critique a piece of writing effectively, you must go through it multiple times, and read every single paragraph carefully. This will help you familiarise yourself with the piece, and enable you to understand the basic idea behind the writing.

    The introduction and conclusion of the piece can help you understand the objectives and the main idea of the work; however, going through the body of the writing is also crucial, as this will help you identify the central theme.

  • 2

    Make a list of pros and cons

    Once you have read the piece of writing once, you should grab a pen and a paper, and start reading the article once again. This time, however, instead of passively reading, you should note down all the pros and cons you can identify in the writing. It is important for you to back your analyses with rational arguments, and to consider the strengths and weaknesses of all the important ideas.

  • 3

    Flow of writing

    Having evaluated the content of the writing, you should now take some time to focus on the style of expression and flow of writing. Make a note of whether the writer has appropriately used formal or informal language, and proofread to ensure that there are no grammatical or factual errors. Sequence is also extremely important, so make sure every paragraph in the work relates to the previous and next paragraphs, to form a coherent chain.

  • 4


    Feedback has to be positive and constructive, unless the writing is extremely poor and you do not see any chance of improvement in the writer. Having explained the strengths and weaknesses in the writing, you must teach the writer where and how he or she can improve in the future. Make sure you sound positive, and avoid any kind of harshness, as the writer is a member of your family.

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