Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Substance Over Form?

Summer classes have started and what choice do I have but to go on and try as much as I can to finish what I already started - you see, there's no use in giving up when you can go on eh...My first nightmare is an essay on how to critique a paper. I thought at first that it was an easy task but later I learned otherwise.

In trying to learn about critiquing a research article in a scholarly journal, it is important that I should understand that the task in writing a critique is to convert the critical examination of a research article into a systematic evaluation. Among other things, I must be interested in determining what the author says or what he wants to achieve, how well the points are made- from the statement of the problem to the recommendations or policy implications, what assumptions underlie the argument, what issues are overlooked, and what implications can be drawn from such an analysis. Sort of like going to Conspiracy Cafe and digesting every word the artists say (sometimes they do have better sense than what I read sssshhh) hahaha.

Since next week we will be asked to critique at least 5 reasearch articles, it is good that the essay was given as a starter (talk about irony). Now I have a guide- yipi! Critiques, positive or negative, should include a fair and accurate summary of the text and a statement of the critic’s own assumptions. Stated or not, these assumptions underlie every evaluative comment made. Therefore, I have an obligation, both to the reader and to myself, to clarify my opinions. I know that in the process of writing a critical assessment, I will be somewhat forced to examine my own knowledge, beliefs and assumptions. Ultimately, the critique is my way of learning about the author and myself. What a way to read a material! What a way to live a life! Oh well...

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