How do I give criticism to someone’s essay without offending them? /straight human
Hello, straight human.
Constructive criticism is what I believe you are looking for here. Instead of telling the person what is wrong with the essay you could tell them how they could improve it. This should not make them offended as we all have areas we can improve ourselves in. You are simply giving them your opinion on their essay. Think of it as making them better, if they never got any criticism on their essays, work or anything really there would be no opportunities for them to improve.
So to put this into action, use the feedback sandwich method. This is essentially feedback given in a positive-improve-positive manner. Firstly you focus on the strengths by telling them what you like with the essay. Secondly you move on to providing them with criticism and areas of improvement. Remember to break down your criticism into points instead of leaving the person confused with a cloud of criticism hanging above their heads. Lastly you round it off by repeating the positive aspects of their work as well as bringing up the expected positive results which will take effect if they follow your criticism. “Overall, great job. I love [blank] if you would only change [blank] it would result in [blank]”
This will remind the person that you are on their side and that you’re not only there to attack them. If you only talk about the problem areas it could come across as being rude, particularly if you do not know each other to begin with.
Think about focusing your feedback on objective points rather than subjective opinions. In order for them to improve you should give recommendations on what they can do with specific examples. This will also make sure they act upon your critique if it is clearly underlined. Instead of saying “This essay is too boring” you could say “If you changed the topic in the second paragraph and instead talked about…it would captivate the readers”