Eight Questions to Ask Myself When Providing Critique to a Student

I was thinking a lot about perfectionism and critique today, and realized that it would be good to come up with the standards by which I can assure that my critique is well-founded and in the interests of the students I teach. Here are the questions I came up with to guide me:

1) Is the role I play (formally) in the student’s life one that requires attention to the area(s) in which I am providing critique?
2) Is my critique based on an assessment of the student’s potential and desire to move him/her to meet it?
3) Is the critique I am offering related to the work s/he is doing, or have I wandered “off the trail” to a peripheral area?
4) Have I given myself a chance to reflect on or process the work on which I am offering critique before writing it or saying it?
5) Would I make this critique of any student in a similar situation whose work or performance was also similar?
6) Am I assuring that I am not personalizing or identifying with the criticism? Am I able to help the student find his/her own way with the assigned work or goal?
7) Will the student’s work/performance suffer if I do not provide the feedback?
8) Would I be willing to have a colleague witness or see the feedback/criticism I am providing?

“Celebrating Bud” Festschrift book is available for purchase!


We are now able to offer the book Celebrating Bud: A Festschrift in Honor of the Life & Work of H.L. “Bud” Goodall, Jr. for sale! I edited the book, along with Bob Krizek and Nick Trujillo. The book cover was designed by Karen Stewart, and the formatting of the text was done by Megan Fisk.

Books are available for $35 each and include essays and works by over 30 contributors. Attached is a pdf order form that should be completed and returned with your form of payment. Orders from contributing authors & those with ASU delivery addresses will have no shipping costs, but there will be a $2 credit card service fee added to your order if you choose to pay by credit card. Payment instructions are on the form.
CLICK HERE FOR ORDER FORM You may also send a message via this blog to me and let me know you would like to get the book–provide contact information and I will get in touch with you.

Additionally, we have five copies of the book available for $20 to grad students. These are first-come, first-serve, and are pre-publication copies with some minor formatting ‘quirks.’ If you are a graduate student and wish to purchase one of these, please indicate this on your order form. 

The book is published by Innovative Inquiry, and all proceeds from sales will go towards the awarding of “The Bud: The H.L. Goodall, Jr. Annual Award for Narrative Ethnography.” This award will be made collaboratively through Innovative Inquiry and the Ethnography Division of the National Communication Association, and it will be announced each year at the International Congress for Qualitative Inquiry. 

Thank you, and we hope that you will enjoy reading the moving and entertaining essays and works included in this tribute to our dear colleague, Bud.