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Writing a Critique

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Writing a Critique

  1. 1. What is the purpose of acritique? It is to evaluate somebodys work (a book, an essay, a movie, a painting...) in order to increase the readers understanding of it. it expresses the writers opinion or evaluation of a text a critical analysis is not merely to inform, but also to evaluate the worth, utility, excellence, distinction, truth, validity, beauty, or goodness of something Analysis means to break down and study the parts. Writing a critical paper requires two steps: critical reading and critical writing.
  2. 2. To critique a piece of writing is todo the following: 1) describe: give the reader a sense of the writers overall purpose and meaning 2) analyze: show how it is put together by dividing it into its main sections or aspects 3) interpret: define the significance (meaning and importance) of each part (or missing parts) 4) assess: make a judgment of the works worth or value
  3. 3. Step 1: Read Read Re-read Re-read And read again. It is important to familiarize yourself with the document. There are multiple things you need to look for you can’t possibly find them all after the first read.
  4. 4. Step 2: Notes As you read, TAKE NOTES!! Circle, highlight, underline, and comment on your article. Look for:  the author’s purpose of the paper ○ (very important) Is the purpose to inform with factual material? Is the purpose to persuade with appeal to reason or emotions? Is the purpose to entertain (to affect peoples emotions)? Also look for:  Patterns  Tone: funny, serious
  5. 5. Step 3: Gather yourresources Find out where the work was published – does that help you figure out the author’s purpose and audience? What are the author’s obvious strategies in making his or her point? Are they successful?
  6. 6. Step 4: Investigate Further Look at underlying assumptions, both yours and the writer’s. Look for places where the author has left gaps – are these deliberate?  Do they need to be filled?  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?
  7. 7. Step 5: Organize I. Background information to help your readers understand the nature of the work  A. Information about the work ○ 1. Title ○ 2. Author ○ 3. Publication information ○ 4. Statement of topic and purpose  B. Thesis statement indicating writers main reaction to the work II. Summary or description of the work III. Interpretation and/or evaluation  A. Discussion of the works organization  B. Discussion of the works style  C. Effectiveness  D. Discussion of the topics treatment  E. Discussion of appeal to a particular audience
  8. 8. Step 6: Write After you have created your outline, start writing your critique. Remember that your critique does not have to be negative. Refer to the author by his or her last name.

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