Criticism Guidelines

This Guide outlines the best ways one can engage in critiquing an Article.

Guidelines:

  1. Critiques should be helpful in some way: They should suggest what the author did wrong, how to improve, or what they've done right that they should continue doing.
  2. You aren't required to post anything in-depth: "I didn't care for it" or "I dislike this idea" are valid criticisms. Maybe you can't articulate exactly why it didn't grab you. That's fair. However, feedback is most beneficial to an author when there is a clear indication of what needs to be fixed.
    • Feedback given in the Forum should be more in-depth. Forum reviewers are expected to give some sort of direction for improvement of a draft, rather than simply saying they liked or disliked it.
  3. Feel free to be as harsh as you need to be. If an article is pretty bad, you don't have to say nice things to make up for your criticisms. The point is for your criticism to be effective, not to fluff someone's ego. If most of the article's bad, you don't need to search for something good to say.
  4. You aren't obligated to explain your vote: A downvote (or an upvote!) can speak for itself. If you have the time and inclination to tell the author why you voted as you did, that's wonderful, and we appreciate that you're taking the time to help make the site better. But you don't have to.
  5. Don't try to enforce your personal preferences as How-Things-Should-Be-Done: There's no rule saying someone must use a sandbox, or swear off writing humanoids/-Js/Gammas until they're more experienced, or that Author Avatars are the cancer that is killing RPC. If a new writer wants to try something risky, let them go for it. The worst that can happen is that their article gets deleted. We want people being ambitious and taking chances.
  6. Content of user posts is what matters, not user status: Avoid judging or belittling users based on their join date. Veterans should not belittle the critique of newer users just because they are new. If a new user is wrong, explain why. Also, users should not ignore the advice of others in favor of only listening to staff members. Some of our best writers are not staff.

If you have any questions about this policy, please feel free to leave a comment in the discussion thread, or message a member of staff. Thank you. Remember that these are helpful guidelines to follow, not rules. You will not be banned for not following these guidelines, but remember that if you do not other members are not obligated to listen to your complaints. However, site rules are still in effect and rule-breaking posts will be punished accordingly.

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