Writing critically (self-study version)

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Writing Critically (self-study version)

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Writing critically (self-study version)

  1. 1. Writing Critically (Self-study version)
  2. 2. Writing Critically Writing critically means:• Analyzing your own work and others’ – Examining and breaking information into parts• Evaluating – Making judgements about the value of information, ideas or materials for a given purpose in a given context
  3. 3. Writing Critically• Presenting your point of view – Giving your opinion• Supporting your point of view – Supplying arguments and reasons for your opinion
  4. 4. Writing Critically In other words, you need to:• Consider different points of view and discuss their positive and negative aspects• On the basis of this discussion you choose a point of view and persuade the reader that your point of view is the correct one.
  5. 5. Support• Your opinions need to be supported• You need to provide evidence• You need to explain why the evidence supports your point of view
  6. 6. Your point of view• Make sure you clearly distinguish between: • Your point of view • Your evidence • Your reasons for believing what you do.
  7. 7. Your point of viewBe sure that the evidence that you areproviding leads to the claim you are making Evidence ReasonsClaim (support or (warrant or(thesis) grounds) argument)
  8. 8. Presenting your argument• You can present your argument in two ways: • The inductive or balanced approach • The deductive or persuasive approach
  9. 9. Presenting your argument• The inductive or balanced approach You present both sides of the argument without giving your opinion until the last few sentences. You do need to provide evidence for your opinion.
  10. 10. Presenting your argumentWhen using the inductive/balanced approach,your plan could look as follows:1. Introduction of the argument (Why it is relevant)2. Reasons against the argument. (Mention the position, the evidence and the reasons)3. Reasons in favor of your argument. (Mention the position, the evidence and the reasons)4. Summarize the two sides, state your own point of view and explain it.
  11. 11. Presenting your argument• The deductive or persuasive approach In this type of approach you state your point of view immediately and you try to convince your reader that your are right by presenting reasoned arguments.
  12. 12. Presenting your argumentWhen using the deductive/persuasive approach,your plan could look as follows:1. Introduction of the topic in general terms and your own point of view.2. Explanation of what your are trying to prove.3. Reasons against the argument
  13. 13. Presenting your argument4. Disposing of the above-mentioned reasons (Provide evidence and your reasons)5. Reasons for your argument (Provide evidence and your reasons and examples)6. Conclusion (Restate your claim and explain its importance)
  14. 14. Giving reasons and explanations Writing critically means that you have to make connections between the ideas that you are presenting. You need to explain why things happen the way they do, giving reasons and examples.
  15. 15. Giving reasons and explanations The situation: Pollution is increasing One reason for this might be the fact that people burn more fossil fuels So: Pollution is increasing (situation) People are burning more fossil fuels (reason or explanation)
  16. 16. • Please do exercises 1,2 and 3 from ‘Writing Critically Exercises’ and check your answers with the answer key.
  17. 17. Arguing a point of viewArguing means stating your claim (yourpoint of view). You need to support this bygiving evidence and reasons why you thinkyour evidence supports your claim. It islikely that your claim is debatable. You maybelieve in it, but other people may disagreewith you. The objective of your argument isto prove to your reader that you are correct.
  18. 18. • Please do exercise 4 from ‘Writing Critically Exercises’ and check your answers with the answer key.
  19. 19. Arguing a point of viewGeneralizationsThe claim that you make will be quitegeneral and it is likely that it will apply toother contexts and situations as well, notjust your own. Usually these generalizationsare written in the present tense.The seems to be a important link betweennutrition and heart disease.
  20. 20. Arguing a point of viewCautious languageIt is important that you are careful about thestrength of your claims.Obesity during childhood may lead to anincrease chance of becoming obese in laterlife.Most traffic accidents occur because offatigue or excessive alcohol consumption.
  21. 21. • Please do exercises 5 and 6 from ‘Writing Critically Exercises’ and check your answers with the answer key.
  22. 22. Evaluating a point of viewBesides stating your own point of view, youneed to comment and evaluate otherpeople’s ideas as well. For example, you maywant to use a point of view you have readabout in a scientific journal. It is importantthat you explain why this point of viewsupports, or doesn’t support your own.
  23. 23. Evaluating a point of view When evaluating a point of view or a conclusion, you need to:• Present the point of view• Comment on it positively or negatively.
  24. 24. • Please do exercises 7 and 8 from ‘Writing Critically Exercises’ and check your answers with the answer key.
  25. 25. Advantages and disadvantages One important way to evaluate a proposal or an idea is to look at its advantages and disadvantages.
  26. 26. • Please do exercises 9,10, and 11 from ‘Writing Critically Exercises’ and check your answers with the answer key.
  27. 27. Comparing and contrastingWhen you are writing you do a lot morethan just give information. A commonfunction in writing is comparing andcontrasting, or writing about similaritiesand differences. It is important that beforeyou start writing you decide which features,items, or ideas you are going to compareand organize them accordingly.
  28. 28. • Please do exercises 12,13, and 14 from ‘Writing Critically Exercises’ and check your answers with the answer key.
  29. 29. Providing supportThe claims that you make in yourdiscussions need to be quite general. Youneed to draw general conclusions that willbe valuable in solving problems in thefuture. Again, these generalizations need tobe supported by examples, details, andevidence.
  30. 30. • Please do exercises 15,16,17, and 18 from ‘Writing Critically Exercises’ and check your answers with the answer key.
  31. 31. Drawing conclusionsAfter presenting your point of view,evaluating the possible choices (allsupported with evidence), you need to cometo a conclusion. The main fuction of theconclusion is to show that the main purposeof the text has been achieved.
  32. 32. Drawing conclusions A concluding section should:• Repeat the issues raised in the introduction• Summarize the points made in the main body of your text• Come to a clear conclusion
  33. 33. Drawing conclusionsMany conclusions, especially in reports,finish with recommendations orsuggestions. For example:Further research is needed to determinewhether ….
  34. 34. • Please do exercise 19 from ‘Writing Critically Exercises’ and check your answers with the answer key.

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