Constructive Historical Criticism, an Art

The art of effective historical criticism is just that, an art. Criticism needs to be as unique as the person giving and receiving it. The majority of people probably don’t’ enjoy receiving constructive historical criticism. Constructive criticism isn’t there to be used as a tool to tear others down, but to aid in creativity, thought processes, final products, etc. There are a wide variety of ways to approach criticism, and we should all aim for it to be as constructive as possible.

  The goal for constructive criticism should be conveying the correction and advice in a way that doesn’t make the opposite party feel attacked. When the opposing party feels attacked they can become defensive and then even less production can happen. I, along with many others use a method called the ‘sandwich method.

The sandwich method in essence is putting a criticism or suggestion in between two compliments. This is a great way to say the positives and compliments surrounding the things that need change.

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This method generally is the preferred method to get across the critiquing information as positive as possible.  Another way to convey your criticism in a positive light is to carefully and critically think before you speak. The positive critiques need to be just as thought out as the ‘negative’ critiques. Try to pose the criticisms as observations, not cold hard facts. Coming across with criticisms as a definite can make the receiver seize up and put up a wall to all other constrictive criticisms.

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Again, if the positives don’t outweigh the negatives in the critique, you can severely diminish the person’s confidence, work, etc. during the critique.  Learning how to give constructive criticism is equally as important as receiving it.

In graphic design, we will be constantly being critiqued. In a field like graphic design, you need to separate yourself from your work and/or get some thick skin. Separating yourself from your work is a preferred method among most to help the critiques sting less. It is a career where you are constantly being critiqued, reimagined, and reworked to get the final and desired product. The goal when receiving a critique should be being as less defensive as possible and genuinely taking in the information others are feeding back to you.  Whether you are giving or receiving the constructive criticism, it needs to be conveyed as collaborative. Presenting it as collaborative will still show that you support and respect the other party. Another positive for posing it as collaborative it should calm and help better rationalize for the opposing parties involved. As long as constructive criticism is surrounded by positives and critically thought out, you will create an optimal environment for the information to be received.

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Constructive Historical Criticism, an Art. (2021, Dec 30). Retrieved from

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