“As Others See Us”
Write a paper in which you analyze and evaluate Nathan’s “As Others See Us”—Getting to Know American Students” (67-71), “Relationships and Friendships” (72-77) and “Worldliness and Worldview” (84-89). Assume that your audience is unfamiliar with the course text you are writing about; therefore, you will need to provide a good amount of summary in order to explain your analysis and position. For instance, you should explain who the author is and why he or she is considered an expert on their chosen topic. You may also need to talk about the author’s sub-arguments, use of evidence, and conclusions.
To identify an argument of your own in relation to the course text, you will need to analyze the article for its strengths, its weaknesses, and the value of the author’s implications or conclusions. The following are templates for your evaluation in relation to the course text:
· I agree with Nathan up to a point, but I cannot agree with her conclusion that _______________________________________________________________________.
· Nathan’s argument is strong because ________________________________________.
· Nathan’s argument focuses on an important topic, especially for __________(group of people/field of study)__________ because ____________________________________.
· I find Nathan’s argument of limited value because she did not consider ______________, which would have made his argument more complex and _________________________.
These suggestions are only a few of many possible arguments you could construct; please do not limit yourself only to these suggestions. That said, I would generally suggest that you avoid an argument that positions you as simply agreeing or disagreeing with the argument of your chosen text. First, agree/disagree arguments are generally uninteresting to read, and they will not adequately demonstrate your analytical skills. Second, disagreement is particularly challenging in this case because the article has gone through a scholarly peer review process, which means that the author’s academic peers have found their arguments credible and scholarly in nature. As you are not an expert in the field, it is unwise to disagree in full with peer-reviewed scholarship for this assignment. You may, however, agree or disagree with one part of the author’s argument, you may choose to debate the author’s conclusions, and you may be able to identify important issues that the author left out or disregarded.
Below are some guidelines to help you write a critical review.
· Begin the introduction identifying the author, the title, the main topic or issues, and the
purpose of the essay you have read in class.
· In the introduction, you may want to provide an overview. An overview may include
background information about the topic, evidence used, or the target audience.
· In relation to the author’s argument and support, establish your position as the reviewer (your thesis about the author’s thesis)
Organize the body of your review according to a logical plan. Here are two options.
· First, summarize, in a series of paragraphs, those major points from the reading that you plan
to discuss. Second, discuss and evaluate theses points in a following group of paragraphs.
· Alternatively, you can summarize and evaluate the major points of the reading in a point-by-point schema. That means you will discuss and evaluate point one within the same paragraph (or in several if the point is significant and warrants extended discussion) before you
summarize and evaluate point two, point three, etc, moving in a logical sequence from point
to point to point.
Below are a couple of things you keep in mind as you write.
· What are the author’s most important points? How do these relate to one another?
· What types of evidence or information does the author present to support his or her points?
· Where does the author do a good job of carrying the evidence?
· Which parts of the work (particular arguments, descriptions, etc.) are most effective and
which parts are least effective? Why?
Use the conclusion to state your overall critical evaluation by determining such things as whether or not the author achieves the stated or implied purpose and if the work makes a significant contribution to an existing body of knowledge. Consider following questions.
· How well does the work maintain its stated or implied focus?
· Does the author include/exclude relevant information?
· How well has the author achieved the overall purpose of the article? What contribution does
the work make to an existing body of knowledge or to a specific group of readers?
· What is the most important final comment you wish to make about the essay? Do you have
any suggestions for the direction of future research in the area? What has reading this work
done for you or demonstrated to you?