Guidelines For Writing A Critique

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General guidelines for writing Critical or Rhetorical Analysis essay

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Guidelines For Writing A Critique

  1. 1. Guidelines for Writing a Critique<br />
  2. 2. Step 1<br />Read.<br />Read.<br />Read.<br />Re-read.<br />Read again.<br />
  3. 3. Step 1 1/2<br />While you read, take notes<br />Underline things<br />Circle words.<br />Do you notice any patterns?<br />Do you notice anything about the author’s tone?<br />Is it funny? Angry? Serious?<br />
  4. 4. Step 2<br />Gather your ammunition<br />Find out where the work was published – does that help you figure out the author’s purpose and audience?<br />What are the author’s obvious strategies in making his or her point?<br />Are they successful?<br />
  5. 5. Step 3Go Deeper<br />Look at underlying assumptions, both yours and the writer’s<br />Look for places where the author has left gaps – are these deliberate? Do they need to be filled?<br />Does the author play on your emotions? How? Is he or she using any images or ideas that play on some abstract, for example patriotism?<br />
  6. 6. Step 4<br />Organize<br />Arrange paragraphs based on clusters you find in your reading<br />AFTER organizing, you should see a clear thesis beginning to emerge<br />
  7. 7. Your Essay should include<br />A general introduction, in which you state your thesis<br />A brief (BRIEF) (that means SHORT) (like ONE paragraph!) summary<br />Something about the purpose and audience, as you see it<br />Something about the author’s strategies, as you detect them<br />Whether they are successful or not<br />Analysis of critical elements, like underlying values, rhetorical appeals.<br />Comments on what worked, what didn’t<br />Your personal response to the issue (also pretty short)<br />Overall conclusion<br />
  8. 8. How many paragraphs was that?<br />More than five, you betcha.<br />And forget the 3-part thesis. It won’t work.<br />
  9. 9. Step 5<br />Write<br />Write<br />Revise.<br />
  10. 10. General Guidelines<br />
  11. 11. Organize by rhetorical point, not by summary<br />Allow your organization to develop naturally out of what you have found in your reading and note-taking.<br />
  12. 12. Use the Present Tense<br />
  13. 13. Refer to the author by his or her last name<br />Lewis argues, Atwood writes, James demonstrates…<br />
  14. 14. Common Errors of Expression<br />The essay states<br />The essay argues <br />This essay will show…<br />In this essay he writes… <br /> or In Margaret Atwood’s essay, she writes…<br />
  15. 15. Oh, and it’s an ESSAY<br />Not a story. <br />

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