Critique #3 Postmortem

This critique was easier than the other critiques, primarily because of the small amount of source content that we were required to analyze. I made changes to the draft that I had ready on Tuesday, because I had not referenced an external source in my analysis. The requirements for this critique were the first that did not refer to including an outside source, so I assumed that such a reference was not required. It was nice to have the time to add it in after that requirement was explicitly stated on Tuesday.

I started this assignment on the day it was assigned, and finished it (in the form that I had ready on Tuesday) on the next day. I revised it based on Tuesday’s class yesterday and this morning. This time frame was accelerated because I was focusing on a large project for another class and could not afford to dedicate a large chunk of time near yesterday, May 1 (which was when the other project was due).

I was surprised to find that the video did not work in the instructions. I expected the instructions to be bad, but not quite that bad. However, as far as the actual composition of the assignment went, nothing surprised me, given that this is the third critique we have done.

The hardest part was finding the time to write the paper, due to the project mentioned earlier. The easiest part was the summary, because there was very little content in the instructions we were analyzing.

If someone were to ask me for advice about this assignment, I would tell them to follow the time frame I did, especially if they are as busy as I am. Following this time frame allowed me to focus on my other project without having a paper for another class hanging over my head.

Critique #2 Postmortem

This critique went a little bit easier than the first critique, mainly because I knew what to expect. It was nice having the feedback from the first one available so that I could avoid making the same mistakes this time around.

I started this assignment last Friday, when I began reading the essay. I read a little bit each day, until yesterday when I finished it and wrote the paper. I put the final touches on it this morning. This is a fairly typical time frame for me, and it seems to work well.

Nothing surprised me about this assignment. Last time it was difficult to compress the amount of information into one page, so I knew that coming in this time. Knowing this, I kept mental notes of the most important information as I was reading through the article so that the summary would be easier.

However, the hardest part was still keeping it to one page. I didn’t go enormously over this time, but I found myself having to reword things multiple times to be as concise as possible. The easiest part was reaching the required length; there was so much content in this article that the summary itself could have easily spanned multiple pages.

I proofread my paper by printing it out and marking it up with a red pen, like I always do. I read through it myself about three times, and had Mr. Long read through it during his office hours this morning.

I will start earlier for the final critique assignment, knowing that I will not have an opportunity to rewrite it. I will take it in to Mr. Long’s office before the morning that it is due so that I can get feedback earlier. I will make sure that I keep mental notes in the same way that I did for this assignment; the summary was made easy because of this. I will also be sure to split the reading up into multiple days again. I would advise someone doing this assignment to do the same; it is much easier to read this article in multiple blocks instead of trying to knock it out in one sitting.

Critique #1 Postmortem

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.