This assignment was different from most other English assignments that I have done both in high school and in college, primarily because of the tight constraint on the length of the paper. When I write a paper I write out all my thoughts, ignoring how long my paper is, and adjust the length after that. Typically in reviewing I have to cut out or add a few things, but in this assignment I had to remove an entire paragraph’s worth of text. Normally that wouldn’t be too difficult, but when the assignment is only one page long, removing a paragraph means taking out about 30% of the material, which is not a trivial task.
I started this assignment on Sunday evening, when I read the article. On Monday morning, in a break between classes, I wrote my initial draft. I revised it and shortened it on Monday evening, and added the finishing touches on Tuesday morning. This is actually a very good time frame for me, considering my past record. I typically start a paper the night before the due date and end up staying up too late to finish it.
The most surprising thing about this assignment was just how short it had to be. I included what I considered to be a minimal amount of crucial information in the summary section, but it was still too long for me to fit in a response that was a reasonable length. Unfortunately I had to cut out of my summary some of what I would consider the author’s main points.
The hardest part of this assignment was definitely cutting down on the length. As I detailed in the first paragraph, my initial draft was significantly too long, and I had to remove much of my content. The easiest part was summarizing the article, because the article was well-structured; it was easy to pick out what the author intended to be the main points.
Next time I do a critique I think I’ll aim for the same approach that I used this time. The time frame worked very well; I appreciate being well rested today and waking up early enough to go to the gym this morning. If someone else doing this assignment asked me for advice, I would tell him or her to follow the same time frame that I did. It helps not to do everything in one sitting; especially writing and reviewing. I find that I catch significantly more errors if I review something the day after I write it, instead of immediately after finishing.
Hopefully my next critique will go as smoothly as this one did.