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CRITICAL REVIEW A critical review is a writing task that asks you to summarise and evaluate a text, which can be a book, a chapter, or a journal article.

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Presentation on theme: "CRITICAL REVIEW A critical review is a writing task that asks you to summarise and evaluate a text, which can be a book, a chapter, or a journal article."— Presentation transcript:

1 CRITICAL REVIEW A critical review is a writing task that asks you to summarise and evaluate a text, which can be a book, a chapter, or a journal article. This workshop will examine the basic structure of a critical review and focus on developing skills such as critical analysis and summary writing. See

2 W HAT IS A C RITICAL R EVIEW ? Essentially a critical review consists of: A summary of a few key points of a text/s (book, chapter, journal article, website, etc) + Considered comment related to the summary It is an analysis of available information about a particular topic 2 Helen Farrell, The Learning Centre 2012

3 S TRUCTURE OF TODAY ’ S SESSION : Expectations re academic literacy Review of reading techniques Review of summarising techniques The art of Critiquing Critical reviewing Critical analysing Writing a conceptual paper Evaluating 3 Helen Farrell, The Learning Centre 2012

4 Creating Evaluating Analysing Applying Understanding Remembering Bloom’s Cognitive Taxonomy “Knowing the facts” is at the base of the pyramid Each step depends on the prior step Students are expected to be able to move through all levels to create new knowledge (especially post grad students) Anderson & Krathwohl (2001) 4 Helen Farrell, The Learning Centre 2012

5 G ETTING STARTED : C RITICAL READING Procedure for review: 1. Look at the big picture: that is, get an overview Titles Chapter headings/ journal headings Reference list Preface /Abstract Diagrams/ Tables/ figures Publisher How does this article ‘fit’ with the topics of your course? This is important to form first impressions and is valuable for writing your Introduction 5 Helen Farrell, The Learning Centre 2012

6 C RITICAL READING CONT 2. Read the text thoroughly and ask yourself: - How has this text enhanced your knowledge of your topic? - What questions do you still have? - How does this text ‘fit’ with your coursework? - What new ‘vistas’ have opened up? 6 Helen Farrell, The Learning Centre 2012

7 C RITICAL READING CONT 3. Select concepts you are going to comment on: Are they key points? Are you still on track with your assignment guidelines?? 4. Now it is time to plan: Organisation of concepts 7 Helen Farrell, The Learning Centre 2012

8 R R ULES FOR S UMMARISING : Focus on relevant aspects of the source text Present the material accurately Use your own words Strategies 1. Skim the text (notice specialised terms) 3. Read the text 2. Identify purpose 4. Record main pts of each section 5. Record supporting evidence for main topic 6. Consider the significance of what you have written 8 Helen Farrell, The Learning Centre 2012

9 F C HECKING YOUR SUMMARY Consider: 1. Length 2. Vocabulary + technical terms 3. Too close to the source? 4. Have you clearly identified the source? 5. Have you highlighted significant points? For example: Fundamentally the issue of sustainability remains unresolved. Source: Swales J. and Feak C. (2008). Academic Writing for graduate students. 2 nd ed. Ann Arbor: Uni of Michigan Press. 9 Helen Farrell, The Learning Centre 2012

10 Introduction: Context, Thesis, Outline of main ideas ypes/critical%20reviews.pdf Summary: follows outline pattern, appropriate length Evaluation/Critique: appropriate length Conclusion: Restate thesis, reiterate main points References: Which style? Critical Review 10 Helen Farrell, The Learning Centre 2012

11 11 Two common ‘patterns’ for a critical review: Pattern 1 Pattern 2: Intro SummaryIdea 1 + Review Idea 2 + Review ReviewIdea 3 + Review Idea 4 + Review Conclusion

12 T HE I NTRODUCTION REQUIRES : Helen Farrell, The Learning Centre Bibliographical details Purpose of author (as a context) Author’s main argument Your main response Definition of terms ? (If you are asked to review an issue or theme discussed in your course, or to review 2 or more texts on the same topic then your Introduction must reflect this.) ( Source: The Writing Center Uni of Wisconsin- Madison CriNonFiction_intro.html)www.wisc.edu/writing/handbook/

13 T HE B ODY REQUIRES : Your summary of main ideas from the set text + Your discipline perspective on each of these ideas - based on evidence sourced from additional readings. Your synthesis of the ideas other researchers in the field have generated. Ideas not randomly discussed! An analytical approach required. 13 Helen Farrell, The Learning Centre 2012 Source: Derish, P., & Annesley, T. (2011). ‘How to write a rave review’, Clinical Chemistry 57 (3), p

14 T HE B ODY : CONSIDERATIONS Key ideas Limitations/ shortcomings/strengths of these ideas Methodology/ discussion justified? Conclusions sound? Its contribution to the field of study (ie the value of the study). What contribution does it make to the body of knowledge ? 14 Helen Farrell, The Learning Centre 2012 Source: Derish, P., & Annesley, T. (2011). ‘How to write a rave review’, Clinical Chemistry 57 (3), p

15 1. Topic Sentence 1. Claim (your voice) ‘Guess what?’ 2. Supporting sentences 2. A variety of possibilities according to the task: Evidence Elaboration Examples Explanation Interpretation (your voice) ‘Prove it!’ ‘Well, so what?’ Ways of thinking about academic paragraph structure Argument paragraph structure BasicShort cut 15 Helen Farrell, The Learning Centre 2012

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17 C ONCLUSION TO REVIEW Helen Farrell, The Learning Centre Summarises the overall worth of the text What do all these ideas mean? Future directions? Other comments? Source: Derish, P., & Annesley, T. (2011). ‘How to write a rave review’, Clinical Chemistry 57 (3), p ( Source: The Writing Center Uni of Wisconsin- Madison CriNonFiction_intro.html)www.wisc.edu/writing/handbook/

18 S O … TO WRITE A GOOD CRITICAL REVIEW YOU NEED TO DEVELOP “analytical habits of thinking, speaking, discussing, reading and writing…to go beneath the surface impressions and traditional myths, mere opinions and routine clichés. [an] understanding [of] the social contexts and consequences of any subject matter; discovering the deep meaning of any event, text, technique, process, object, statement image or situation; [and] applying that meaning to your own context”. Shor (1993) Helen Farrell The Learning Centre

19 R ESOURCES FOR WRITING A REVIEW : studies/learning/guides/appraisal 6-critical-review.xml studies/learning/guides/appraisal#types s/text_types/critical%20reviews.pdfhttp://www.tlu.fbe.unimelb.edu.au/pdfs/helpsheet s/text_types/critical%20reviews.pdf *** 19 Helen Farrell, The Learning Centre 2012


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