Critical Analysis

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How to think and write critically for Arts students in university

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Critical Analysis

  1. 1. Critical analysis<br />Orna Farrell<br />orna.farrell@dbs.ie<br />
  2. 2. How do you get higher marks?<br />Description?<br />Or<br />Analysis?<br />
  3. 3. What is critical analysis?<br />Identifying other peoples positions, arguments and conclusions<br />Evaluating evidence<br />Weighing up opposing arguments<br />Reflecting on issues in a structured way <br />Drawing conclusions about whether arguments are valid<br />Presenting a point of view in a structured clear & well reasoned way<br />
  4. 4. Why should I analyse?<br />Critical analytical thinking is a key part of university study- using it will lead to higher marks<br /> Many first year students receive comments such as &apos;not analytical enough&apos; on their early assignments<br />when you cite a source of evidence for your own arguments, you will need to be sure that the evidence really does support your point, and is accurate and reliable. <br />You are expected to be very critical of your sources, using evidence that has been well researched rather than just your own opinion<br />
  5. 5. Barriers to critical thinking<br />Strategies used at school are not sufficient for third level<br />Reluctance to critique experts<br />Misunderstanding of what is meant by criticism<br />Mistaking information for understanding<br />
  6. 6. Different perspectives on learning<br />Student: “I want you the expert to give me the answers to the questions, I want to know the right answer”<br />Lecturers: “I want you to become critical thinkers, which means I want you to challenge experts answers and pursue your own answers through active questioning.”<br />
  7. 7. Critical writing<br />The focus of critical writing is to present a case by providing reasons, relevant evidence, evaluating alternative arguments, weighing up conflicting evidence, forming judgements on the evidence.<br />Description and background keep to a minimum<br />
  8. 8. Critical writing<br />Feature of critical writing:<br />Clarity: convince the reader, sparse language, sticks to the point<br />Analysis<br />Selection: give only important details<br />Sequence<br />Signposting<br />
  9. 9. My approaches to analysis<br />When writing:<br />State<br />Relate<br />Prove<br />Explain<br />When discussing a theory:<br />What is the theory?<br />Do I agree or disagree with the theory and why?<br />How does it relate to the assignment question?<br />Give an example of how it works..<br />
  10. 10. References<br />Cottrell, S.(2005) Critical Thinking Skills. London: Palgrave.<br />http://www.palgrave.com/skills4study/studyskills/thinking/critical.asp#thinking<br />

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