CCWF Critique: Critique Checklist

Author:                                                                                    Date:
Critique partner:

General Observations

Two positive comments:



First paragraph – did it catch your attention?

Logical and interesting – do you want to keep reading?

End well?

Is the writing creative, clear? Are there places when the text distracts you?

Favorite part?

Genre Specific Evaluation


Audience, tone, main idea:

Use of details, order and pacing:

Supporting arguments?


Believable and logical plot?

Conflict or problem?

Logical sequencing of scenes?

Relatable characters?

Children’s Picture Book**

Appropriate word length

Story elements:
Does it have rhythm; is it enjoyable; does the language have energy? Will a small child enjoy the story?

Does the story start off well? Is the story well-paced; does the story line slow down?

Is the end satisfactory; does the character change?

How much of the text is “telling”? Is there too much explanation?

Does the story suggest lots of illustrations? Can you imagine the illustrations?

Is the language suitable to the story? Are there weak words or phrases? Does the author use sensory details in the story? Does every word earn its place?

If using rhyme: does it add to the story (is the story strong without the rhyme)? Can the rhyme be read aloud without stumbling? Are the rhymes fun and within the natural sentence order, not forced?


Subject and Structure

Can you discern the subject of the poem?

Does the title tell you something about the subject of the poem?

The lyric components (form and structure, rhyme, meter) / and the layout and line breaks of the poem:
Do they make sense or are they confusing / do they enhance or distract from the flow and meaning of the poem?

Writing Quality

Is there use of clichés / overused words?

When used does the poet demonstrate effective use of

Consistency in use of internal images?  Themes, motifs


Is the language appropriate and clear? Are there too many adjectives and adverbs?

Does the language show, not tell? Use of sensory references – sound, smell, taste, touch

Do you get the message of the poem?

What does the poem convey to you personally?
How does this writing effect you emotionally/spiritually?

* Thanks to Stephen Hiemstra for his input for the Critique Checklist
** Taken from How to critique picture book text,
*** Based on Critiquing Poetry,