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ANALYSIS AND CRITICISM

Paper instructions:
Select a tone appropriate for your review: it could be one of enthusiasm, concern, anger, humor, or biting sarcasm. Use at least four direct quotes (partial sentence, full sentence, or blocked long quote) from the essay you are critiquing for your evidence. (For this in-class essay, you do not need to include page numbers after your quotes nor do you need to write a works cited entry.)

critical analysis essay in which your purposes are to analyze and criticize an argumentative essay assigned in class. The critical analysis you are assigned might be an argumentative analysis or a rhetorical analysis. Your essay should be an original interaction between you and the essay you are critiquing. (No outside sources are to be used for this essay.)

ESSAY #5: ANALYSIS AND CRITICISM

The first step toward seeing one’s object as it really is, is to know one’s own impression as it really is, to discriminate it, to realize its distinguishing features. (Walter Pater, British art critic)

INTRODUCTION
As art critic Walter Pater believes, when you see an “object as it really is,” “know one’s impression,” and “realize its distinguishing features,” you engage in the act of critical analysis. Whether that “object” is a work of art, an advertisement, a movie, a restaurant, a concert, a book, or an essay in an English class, you can “analyze” by breaking your subject into parts and criticize by evaluating, reviewing, or determining its worth or value.

Have you ever read a movie review, restaurant review, or concert review? If so, you have read a critical analysis. These reviews are written by professional reviewers who offer “expert” or “informed” critiques in newspapers, magazines, and websites.

In English 1301, Essay #5 is a critical analysis of an argumentative/persuasive essay. Your critical analysis essay might be an argumentative analysis, an essay in which you analyze and critique the argument, line of reasoning, and evidence of an author’s essay. However, the essay you write might be a rhetorical analysis, an essay in which you analyze and critique the rhetorical strategies an author uses to support his or her argumentative assertion (thesis). The rhetorical strategies would include an author’s persuasive use of sentence structure, diction, and tone. Keep in mind that the rhetorical situation is the specific reason or cause why a writer has chosen to write his or her response in an argumentative/ persuasive essay.

Here are parts of an argumentative/persuasive essay you could analyze and critique if you are writing an argumentative analysis:

1.    Argumentative thesis (assertion, position, claim, stance, statement of purpose)
2.    Line of reasoning: reasons, concessions, and refutations
3.    Support strategies: common ground, background, examples, and definition
4.    Evidence: amount, credibility, accuracy, adequacy, relevancy, bias
5.    Fallacies (errors in reasoning): false assumptions, over-generalizations, and simplifications

Here are parts of an argumentative/persuasive essay you could analyze and critique if you are writing a rhetorical analysis:

1. Argumentative thesis (assertion, position, claim, stance, statement of purpose)
2. Sentence structure (balanced sentences, anaphora, short simple sentence, rhetorical questions)
3. Diction (including connotations of words, figurative language, allusions)
4. Tone (created by selection of detail, sentence structure, word choice)
5. Details (carefully selected details for persuasive purposes)

As you critique these parts, you might also want to include in your assessment what you consider to be the strengths and/or weaknesses (areas for improvement) of the argumentative/persuasive essay you are critiquing. You will also want to use the language of critique.

WRITING ASSIGNMENT
Write a 500 word (but not more than three full pages) in-class critical analysis essay in which your purposes are to analyze and criticize an argumentative essay assigned in class. The critical analysis you are assigned might be an argumentative analysis or a rhetorical analysis. Your essay should be an original interaction between you and the essay you are critiquing. (No outside sources are to be used for this essay.)

Your audience is our English 1301 class—a group of supportive writers and readers. Assume we are interested in your opinions and want to gain valuable insights on an essay in our text. Include your informed opinions about the essay backed up with evidence.

Select a tone appropriate for your review: it could be one of enthusiasm, concern, anger, humor, or biting sarcasm.

You can use a variety of strategies (methods of development) to develop your critique. Consider the critical analysis essay as an argumentative essay itself. After all, you are making an assertion about a piece of writing and supporting that assertion with your reasons for believing the way you do. Also, you are offering evidence from the essay you are critiquing. This evidence can be presented as direct quotes.

Use at least four direct quotes (partial sentence, full sentence, or blocked long quote) from the essay you are critiquing for your evidence. (For this in-class essay, you do not need to include page numbers after your quotes nor do you need to write a works cited entry.)

Your own critical/analytical thesis will (1) reveal what part or parts of the argumentative essay you are critiquing and (2) suggest your criticism of that part or parts. Your criticism will be favorable or unfavorable. You might also favorably critique one feature of an author’s argumentative essay and respond unfavorably to another feature.

LANGUAGE OF CRITIQUE
Once you have selected the parts or features to analyze, critique them by using the language of critique: judiciously selected diction that reveals your critical opinions, insights, commentary, and evaluation. The language you select will reveal your favorable or unfavorable criticism.

Avoid vague words like “cool,” “nice,” “awesome,” “fantastic,” “magnificent,” “stupid,” “wimpy,” and “boring.”

Prefer more precise diction such as “coherent,” “compelling,” “effective,” “precise,” “vigorous,” “fluent,” “stilted,” “fallacious,” and “awkward.”

MANUSCRIPT MECHANICS
Please type your essay in Times New Roman.12, a very readable font and print size.

Include course information (your name, first name first; your instructor’s name; the course; and the date) all four lines double-spaced.

Create a header in the upper right hand corner with your last name and the page number. Do not place a comma after your name.

Bold and center your title.

:)

Category: Uncategorized

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