What's The Point of Critique? This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

September 11, 2011
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To whom it may concern,
There are many aspects of Teen Ink that I cherish. For example, I enjoy reading the brilliant submissions that are promoted on the site. I appreciate being able to write about anything that is on my mind, and getting feedback from like-minded individuals. I also love giving critique to writers who need it, and I enjoy getting feedback on my writing in return. There’s only one problem. What is the point of giving critique to users if the writers can’t actually utilize it?

I get lots of wonderful critique on my writing, and yet I am unable to do anything with the feedback, besides deleting the piece and resubmitting it with the revisions. Then I would have to wait several weeks before it goes online, and when that happens, I would have to start all over in the process of getting people to read, comment, and rate the piece. This is quite an inconvenience and a hassle, but a hassle that I feel could be avoided with a simple change to the site.

I have a suggestion that would help improve the quality of work on the entire Teen Ink site, and make critiquing a much more meaningful experience to everybody involved. My idea is to simply add an edit button to each article in a writer’s inventory. This would enable users to quickly correct misspelled words, fix grammar and punctuation errors, and expand on the piece. To lighten the load on the editors, a program could be employed to detect whether the edit only involved simple spelling changes and such, and if so, the piece could be instantly changed without having to go through an approval process. A language filter could be used to ensure that all work is free of any and all profanity, and thusly Teen Ink would be able to stay a safe and clean environment for budding writers.

Only if a piece of writing was edited in a more complex manner, for example if a new paragraph was added, or if several sentences were replaced, would an editor have to check the writing to make sure it is safe and appropriate. In this manner, critiques such as “expand upon your ideas further” could be listened to and instigated.

This is my suggestion to improve upon an already splendid site that has changed the lives of teen writers from all over the world. If my ideas are realized, I am sure that Teen Ink will find a fresh surge of creativity and happiness to everybody involved in the editing process. In this way, the quality of work would improve manifold, and Teen Ink would continue to be a very special place for young writers everywhere.
Yours truly,
Julian Mullins

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This article has 35 comments. Post your own now!

KittyKat1419 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 16, 2015 at 4:43 pm
Agree:) thanks for writing this
Klammyt This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 19, 2013 at 2:57 pm
Yes! This would be so useful!
Love2Read72 replied...
May 4, 2014 at 12:10 am
I agree with you. If you get constructive criticism, you should be able to try to fix it.
Superhero_Fan said...
Jul. 20, 2013 at 5:17 pm
I agree! This would help out a lot!
publicdomain said...
Jan. 1, 2012 at 3:53 pm
I agree 100%
Nick5 said...
Dec. 6, 2011 at 9:56 am
I feel your pain!
TaurusGal This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 9, 2011 at 2:42 am
An excellent idea... =]
Little.Miss said...
Oct. 22, 2011 at 9:46 pm

A good idea would be a 'request' to revise it. Say you e-mailed the TeenInk Editors directly, and sent the revision of your work to them, with the link of the old work. They could read over, approve, replace it, and maybe add a little tab saying (Little.Miss revised this on 10/22/11.)

I'd really love something like that right now. I only have one piece of writing up, and I'm dying to revise it, but it has quite a few comments on it and I'll have to start from the bottom again! :(

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Afanen This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 17, 2011 at 10:29 pm
Yes, I second Little.Miss's comment. I know it can be aggravating to wait, but I think that would be most in-keeping with the site's privacy/safety guidelines. 
Phoenixx said...
Oct. 22, 2011 at 8:09 pm
I get what your saying, but it seems like a really hard process, and like it'd take time for the people on teenink to actually get the through the processes of a button, and what would happen if a piece of writing was put up on the website, but it was plagerized from someones elses work? 
Emiri said...
Oct. 14, 2011 at 1:32 pm
Good idea. That would be a hassal. But how would a person tell the difference between an edited version of the story and a non-edited? I'm sure you'd think of something for that, so good job!
Illiterate said...
Oct. 9, 2011 at 12:44 am
The only problem are trolls who would be willing to change a decent essay into a vulgaric I Hate The World note, though TeenInk is pretty good about not having anyone just trying to be a jerk, so I think this is a good idea.
Or maybe dedicated teen-inkers should have a special privilege to approve revision if they showed passion/exuberance for such a position?  
Overall a decent essay, but I don't think it's quite the answer.  About 3/4ths there though.
julian This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 12, 2011 at 10:11 pm
Well yes. There is that problem. Although with my idea, if there was a major revision to a piece, the editors would look it over and see if the edit is logical and sensible. If not, they can just deny the change!
TheWordSmith said...
Oct. 8, 2011 at 1:39 pm
This is very good! What I particularly liked was that your arguments were presented very clearly. I have read many opinion pieces where the author gets too wordy, but yours was excellent! 5/5 stars.
Love.Hate.Passion. said...
Oct. 7, 2011 at 10:49 pm

I think you captured the emotion of what alot of teeninkers feel. You did a remarkable presentation in stating your ideas and suggestions. Great job.

5 stars!

Maggie2014 said...
Oct. 6, 2011 at 9:10 am
IamtheshyStargirl said...
Oct. 5, 2011 at 9:52 pm

This is such a great idea, and you present if perfectly, I feel. 

I think it is promising that it got Editors' Choice :)

BrightBurningCampeador This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 5, 2011 at 5:24 pm
I agree completely! The only reason I can see not to do as julian suggests is if a peice is put in the mag before the author edits someone or other might want to keep the version that appeared in the mag around. Of course, that's easy enough to fix. When a peice is put in the mag make a non-editable version and when a person clicks the link to thye peice ask whether they want to see the mag version or the edited version.
julian This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 5, 2011 at 10:17 pm
Thanks for the comment! And yes, your idea is valid, although I think if a piece got into the magazine, it most likely doesn't need too much editing. :)
BrightBurningCampeador This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 6, 2011 at 6:36 pm
I don't know, I don't remember any specific peices, but I know I've said to myself on a number of ocasions that a mag peice could use some editing.
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