Critical Writing Must Have Substance

There’s an old saying that goes something like this, “Everyone’s a critic.” That may be true, but critical writers must provide substance when criticizing someone’s work.

An example of bad critical writing would be:

–“This article is trash. I cannot believe I even remotely considered reading this garbage. This is the last time I ever waste my time reading this quack’s work.”

–“You’ve got to be kidding me! What a pile of crap! How can anyone even begin to read this nonsense?”

Obviously a reader making comments like this was not happy with the material he or she read, but there is no substance in the criticizing. You have to provide support to your argument. It adds to your own credibility to provide logic and reason as to why you are criticizing someone’s work. For example:

“I think Jonathan’s marijuana editorial is garbage because the editorial seems subjective. Sure, he stated facts throughout the piece, but he manipulated the wording to suit his own point of view.”

“I disagree with Ebert’s assessment of the film because I feel like he doesn’t acknowledge key points in the plot. I acknowledge his criticism, but the elements of the film that he criticized help strengthen the plot as a whole.”

At the end of the day, opinions are like @$$ holes–everybody has one. It’s just that people need to provide substance, logic and reasoning to their critical arguments.

    • Geoff Carr
    • March 25th, 2010

    You wrote a marijuana editorial? I haven’t been able to find it on this blog yet.

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