Writing and Social Environment

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Critical Essay

The critical essay should represent your critical evaluation of the article that you have read. You are presented with two articles and you must choose only one. It means you will write an essay in which you will present your understanding of main ideas of the article which you chose. A part of your critical essay should be devoted to a discussion of how relevant the issue is to your own social environment. This is not a research paper, so the structure is flexible. However, you should remember to write in a formal, academic manner.

A good essay will explain the topic and the arguments that the authors are making and offer your reaction to these. It will also address the following questions in some way (although, it may also address other issues that you consider important):

• What is the central idea of the article? What are the questions the authors have set for themselves? Why is the question sociologically interesting? • Is there any hypothesis? What is the goal of the research? What is the main problem? • What are the views of the authors and what do you think of them? • Are the arguments strong or weak? What sort of evidence do the authors provide? • What do you find interesting or surprising – or boring and mundane - about the problem? • What sorts of research methods (research design) did the authors use in their research and why? What do you think of the appropriateness of these methods? Are there any ethical concerns? • Do you see any similar problems in your own social environment? How do you assess a situation in your own country? How can this discussion be applied to the understanding of your social environment? What practically can be learned from this article for your own society?

A good critical essay will demonstrate that you can critically analyze and assess the scholarly article. On the contrary, a weak critical essay will be limited to a mere summary of the ideas in the article. Feel...
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