Critical Analysis Procedures

Design Incubation Fellowship Procedures for Critical Analysis

We adhere to following protocols for presenting work and giving feedback to help participants sustain collegial group interactions and advance individual writing projects.

Issues to Consider as You Read and Comment

As you read each other’s reviews and manuscript drafts, try to pinpoint what works well and what seems problematic. If you can, make specific suggestions for how to improve weaker areas and note what is successful.

  1. Purpose: How clear is the purpose of the piece?
    • How well does the writer establish the importance of his/her work or the work being described (for reviews)?
    • Does the text stick to its stated objectives?
    • How clear is the thesis or argument?
    • Does the narrative seem too broad or too narrow?
  2. Organization: How well does the organization advance the writer’s goals and arguments?
    • Are there appropriate milestones in the exposition?
    • Do the divisions make sense?
  3. Development: How well are each of the major points or sections developed?
    • Does any section seem too skimpy, or alternatively, repetitious or padded?
    • How adequate are the supporting information, data, explanations, analysis?
    • Do any parts seem beyond the scope of the piece?
  4. Language and Expression: How effective is the language?
    • Is there an excess of technical terminology or jargon?
    • Are there places where simpler language would suffice or be more effective?
    • Are there places where the vocabulary seems too simple to express the ideas adequately?
  5. Sentence structure
    • Are there places where the structure might be simplified or further developed?
  6. How appropriate is the tone?
    • How well does the mode of expression and sentence patterns adhere to conventions in the field?
    • Is it formal enough or too formal?
    • Is it too pedantic? Too defensive? Too timid? Too bombastic?
  7. Grammar and Usage: Do any grammatical issues detract from meaning?
    • You may choose to flag any grammatical issues (tense, agreement, etc) or usage (spelling, idioms, etc.) in the margins, but these should not be a primary subject of discussion.

Critical Friends Protocols Adapted for Design Incubation

The Critical Friends Protocols was developed by the Annenberg Institute and requires participants to do the following:

  1. For 10 minutes the writer presents what he or she is trying to achieve and would particularly like feedback on
  2. For 5-10 minutes members ask writer clarifying questions
  3. For 5-10 minutes members ask writer probing questions
  4. For 10 minutes members discuss among themselves their reactions while the writer takes notes
  5. For 10 minutes the writer asks questions of the participants
  6. Last 5 minutes for any other comments or questions or discussion