Writing a Critique

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Reading and Writing MSB- Fall 2012

Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum, 11/E

A critique is a formalized critical reading of a passage, an essay, a book, a movie, a speech, a play, etc.

It is also a personal response. However,
“The movie is great!” x “This book is fascinating.” x “I didn’t like it.” x

such responses don’t illuminate the subject even for you if you haven’t explained how you arrived at your conclusions. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum, 11/E

1. Introduce
 Introduce: • the work under analysis • the author  State the author’s main argument and the point(s) you intend to make about it.  Provide background material to help your readers understand the relevance or appeal of the work: • an explanation of why the subject is of current interest. • a reference to a possible controversy surrounding the subject. • biographical information about the author. • An account of the circumstances under which the passage was written. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum, 11/E • a reference to the intended audience of the passage.

2. Summarize
 Summarize the author’s main points, making sure to state the author’s purpose for writing.  Summarize the plot if it’s a novel  Provide a synopsis of the movie or the play, etc. Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum, 11/E

3. Assess
Evaluate the validity of the author’s presentation, as distinct from your points of agreement or disagreement. Comment on the author’s success in achieving his or her purpose by reviewing three or four specific points:      Is the information accurate? Is the information significant? Has the author defined terms clearly? Has the author used and interpreted information fairly? Has the author argued logically? Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum, 11/E

4. Respond to the presentation
Now it is your turn to respond to the author’s views: With which views do you agree? With which do you disagree? • Discuss your reasons for agreement...
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