Assessment Task 1: Critical analysis of a reading
In this assignment you are to summarise and critically analyse either Reading 1 (Klein) or Reading 4 (Flin) from your book of Readings.
Your assignment should address the issues outlined below. Please utilise the major and sub headings provided below to construct your assignment.
Introduction worth 10% 300 words
Provide a very brief introduction regarding what the reader can expect in this assignment. Then address the following two sub headings of Background to the text and Author’s purpose for writing.
Background to the text
What kind of text is this? For example, is it a journal article, a book chapter, a corporate report or something else?
Can you glean what type of discipline background the author has, or their experience in the area they are writing about? What helped you reach this conclusion?
Author’s purpose for writing
In a few sentences, describe the author’s purpose for writing. What is it the author is aiming to do by writing this piece, why did they write it? What kind of audience are they aiming to reach? How have you discerned this?
Give three reasons, using examples from the text, which helped you decide to whom the text is directed, i.e. the intended audience of the writer. For instance, it may be the vocabulary used, the knowledge assumed (or not assumed) of the reader, and so on. Provide your three examples from the text (and therefore correct in-text citations) and your explanation with each as to why your examples indicate the audience you are suggesting.
Critical analysis worth 40% 800 words
Critically analysis of a text requires you to stand back and not only read for information, but to read for perspective, bias, assumptions and anything else ‘between the lines’ that will help you comprehend the text beyond a surface understanding. This is a skill you will (hopefully) continue to develop and sharpen for the rest of your life. Some of the questions you could ask yourself as you read are:
– What is the author’s individual belief, judgement or circumstance? How has this influenced his or her point of view?
– What has been missed or ignored?
– Are there any biases? Can you suggest why?
– What evidence does the author use to back up the arguments contained in the text? Could the evidence be interpreted differently?
– Does the author make assumptions within the discussion? Are all assumptions stated clearly, or can you deduce implicit or underlying assumptions within the text?
– Were any counter arguments to the author’s view introduced or described? If so, give an example.
Some of these questions may be difficult to apply or not particularly applicable to your chosen Reading. Use the questions as guidelines to stimulate your thinking and perhaps you can generate more useful ones. Regardless, the important thing is that you engage in a critically reflective manner with the Reading.
You may present this section in an essay style, or use headings as in a report.
Your opinion worth 20% 400 words
What is your opinion regarding the effectiveness of this text in relation to its aims; explain why you have drawn theses conclusions.
Overall, did you enjoy this reading? Did you find it useful? Why or why not?
When you are asked for your opinion in an academic arena it is important to support what you say with evidence. Please don’t write I found this an exciting text. This is called description. You must move to the next step, which is called explanation and most commonly begins with because. Therefore, you would write I thoroughly enjoyed this text, and in fact writing this assignment, because. That because is where your marks lie because it provides evidence to support your opinion. If you do not provide the because clause you will be writing what is called, in academic writing, unfounded statements. This is probably the next worst thing to plagiarism.
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