Study guide For a printer-friendly PDF version of this guide, click here Critical reading is an important precursor to critical writing.
If you have any questions about or reactions to these suggestions, please do write me. Developing Skills in Critical Writing The key to mature writing is learning to write critically. Without criticism, texts that you read have no life beyond that of the author.
Without criticism, you also have no distance from the text by which you give life to yourself as a thinker.
Critical writing depends on critical reading. Most of the papers you write will involve reflection on written texts – the thinking and research that has already been done on your subject. A variety of informal, often ungraded, writing activities may be used, for instance, to help students understand that critical reading can be practiced through writing about reading and that writing projects can be strengthened through careful, critical reading. On the pages that follow I offer a variety of strategies for developing skills in critical writing. These include: starting an ongoing conversation with authors your are reading this semester, using a compare and contrast approach to writing, argumentation.
Why is this the case? If we are sympathetic toward the position being asserted, we find that merely having our own views confirmed is of little interest. By analogy, most of us do not spend hours looking in a mirror: Hearing or reading words that only mirror our own thoughts leads to the same result: In sum, even if we are sympathetic toward the views expressed, only if an author exercises a capacity to call into question her own ideas do we find ourselves engaged by her words.
We want to think further than we have previously about ideas with which we have sympathy. On the other hand, if we read an article with which we very much disagree but which does not even hint of our views, we are similarly disinterested.
Such writing has the aura of propaganda: By contrast, an article that approaches a topic critically, acknowledging our position even while disagreeing with it, captures our attention.
But what is critical thinking? What does it look like? To be critical is not to be "negative" or even to "disagree. The essence of criticism consists not of disagreement with the text, but of distance from the text.
Achieving distance from the text does not require you to position yourself as an equal to the author. Rather, you may ask of yourself only that you stay one step ahead of your reader. There are many time-honored strategies for critical writing.
I would like you to work on each of these this semester. In my comments to you on your writing, I may recommend strategies that you may find particularly helpful. Starting an ongoing conversation with authors this semester: If you can maintain a critical train of thought from one week to the next, by summoning in your mind an agenda of your own making through which you will read the texts, you may be able to get a greater depth in your criticism.
Generating a series of questions that may be asked of each author we read in this course can help you to formulate such a critical agenda. Using the "Compare and contrast" approach:Critical reading involves using logical and rhetorical skills. Identifying the author's thesis is a good place to start, but to grasp how the author intends to support it is a difficult task.
More often than not an author will make a claim (most commonly in the form of the thesis) and support it in the body of the text. Critical reading is a technique for discovering information and ideas within a text; critical thinking is a technique for evaluating information and ideas, for deciding what to accept and believe.
of results for "critical reading and writing" Critical Reading and Writing for Postgraduates (SAGE Study Skills Series) Apr 21, by Mike Wallace and Alison Wray. Paperback.
$ $ 33 83 $ Prime. FREE Shipping on eligible orders. More Buying Choices. $ (55 . Other study guides you may find useful are: What is Critical Reading? What is critical writing? The most characteristic features of critical writing are: a clear and confident refusal to accept the conclusions of other writers without evaluating the arguments and evidence that they provide;.
Critical reading means being able to reflect on what a text says, what it describes and what it means by scrutinising the style and structure of the writing, the language used as well as the content. Critical Thinking is an Extension of Critical Reading. On the pages that follow I offer a variety of strategies for developing skills in critical writing.
These include: starting an ongoing conversation with authors your are reading this semester, using a compare and contrast approach to writing, argumentation.