Paper One: CritiqueWe begin the class with probably one of the most difficult forms

Paper One: Critique
We begin the class with probably one of the most difficult forms of writing to master: the critique.  We all have the ability to give our opinions on a wide variety of issues, but the fact remains that most of us are experts or somewhat experts in just a few areas.; therefore, we can only really offer educated opinions backed by research in other areas.  For instance, as an English instructor, I can give you feedback on the form and structure of your papers because I have many years experience and a lot of schooling that trained me in how to read and analyze your papers.  However, if I were to walk into a welding class, I would no longer be the expert and would have to rely on research. 
The point is this: until a person is an expert in a field, his or her opinion means nothing without formalized support and research.  Even after a person becomes “expert,” he or she must offer supporting evidence when critiquing.
This is how a formalized critique is far more complicated than merely giving a personal opinion of something.  As Behrens and Rosen once wrote, a critique is “a formalized, critical reading of a passage” (p. 67, author’s emphasis).  The authors go on to explain the difference between expressing personal approval or disapproval and actually critiquing a work.  Your task for this assignment is to formally critique a work.
Task:  Select one of the texts provided in our Blackboard course site and write a critique of that essay.  You will need to include information and research that goes beyond this article to support your critique of the author’s perspective or argument. 
Length:  3 – 4 pages (not including bibliography/works cited)
Citation Requirement: Primary source (the text you are analyzing) and at least two credible outside sources

All assignments must be submitted on Blackboard, and they must be written in MLA format (e.g., double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, etc.).  Essays must include the student’s name, the date, the class, and the name of the instructor. 

1.    Introduction:  all writings have introductions, but the introduction to a critique has some specific requirements.  In addition to the usual “hook” or attention-getter, the critique introduction needs three specific elements:
a.    Author and Passage information:  you must include some basic information about the author and the text.  For example, who is author?  What is the title of the piece?  When and where was it published?
b.    The author’s thesis statement
c.     Your own thesis statement (which should be your response to the author’s thesis/article)
2.    Summary:  the summary is the second section of the critique.  It is relatively short, and it has some specific requirements of its own:
a.    Include all of the main points of the passage (and include them in the order in which they were presented)
b.    Remain objective and only report on what the author says.  You will have an opportunity to talk about whether you agree or disagree later
c.     Avoid using quotations in the summary.
d.    Keep it brief.  Aim for the summary to be no more than about 1/4 the length of the original article
3.    Analysis:  In this part, you are actually going to analyze what the author has said.  Think about your criteria for how to evaluate a piece of writing and decide whether the author met that criteria.  For example:
a.    Did the author fully support his or her thesis?
b.    Were the examples the author used up-to-date and relevant?
c.     How appropriate were the sources the author used?
d.    Was the author’s use of appeals successful?
e.    Was the author’s position logical?
4.    Response:  In the response section, you get to talk about whether you agree or disagree with the author’s thesis and why.  Note that this is different from the analysis.  The analysis only looks at the strengths and weaknesses of the author’s points and arguments (i.e., how good of a job did the author do in presenting the case).  Remember, you can disagree with someone and still think they did a good job of arguing their case; you can also agree with someone and think that they did a poor job of making their point.  For this section
a.    Talk about what you liked and didn’t like
b.    Use examples from the text to explain your reasoning
c.     This is a good point to talk about and prove your thesis

5.    Conclusion:  In much the same way that every paper has an introduction, every paper also has a conclusion.  It is very similar to a traditional conclusion in that you need to wrap up your essay and remind your readers of the main point.  You should also provide some recommendations for how the author could improve his or her text.


*****3 pages of writing and the half-page of the reference page with citations please!****