The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.” Dalai Lama (Tibetan Buddhist, 1989 Nobel Peace Prize, b.1935) EconomicsCritical Analysis Critical Thinking is “the art of thinking about your thinking while you are thinking in order to make your thinking better: more clear, more accurate, and more defensible.”Paul, Binker, Adamson, and Martin (1989)
The ability to read critically is not only important in academic study • It is also important in business because critical abilities enable practitioners to keep up to date and adjust to change; • To assess and comment on problems and proposed solutions published in professional literature; • And to evaluate and comment on solutions proposed in the workplace.
Make an Argument • A critical analysis paper asks the writer to make an argument about a particular book, essay, movie, etc. • The goal is two fold: • one, identify and explain the argument that the author is making. • and two, provide your own argument about that argument. • One of the key directions of these assignments is often to avoid/minimize summary – you are not writing a book report, but evaluating the author’s argument.
What is meant by 'critical'? • To be critical means that you are required to: • • ask questions about the ideas and information presented in the text and; • • to comment thoughtfully by engaging in a process of evaluating or; • • making judgments about the validity or relevance of the text to your research or field of study.
The Process • Part of the process of being critical is to use the information gathered from questioning to understand the topic from different perspectives and in relation to relevant theoretical frameworks in the field. • Furthermore, asking the right questions will help you to make links with previous information, develop a position and arguments to support it.
What is meant by evaluation? • Evaluation is the process that encourages you to show an understanding of the text content by: • analyzing the purpose and the structure of the text, • assessing and making judgments about its appropriateness according to various academic criteria.
What is meant by analysis? • To approach a topic analytically is to examine carefully the content, issues and structure, by separating them into component parts and explaining how they interrelate. • The ability to summarize is another skill that is essential to writing a critical review. • To summarize means to express the main points of an idea or topic in fewer words and without including examples or details.
To write a critical review, you need to: • 1)summarize the article briefly (a one paragraph introduction). • 2) critique the article. • To complete the critical analysis you need to • a) state your thesis (main point), • b) comment on the article's good points, • c) comment on the article's bad points, and • d) provide a conclusion. • You should write your review for people who have not read the article.
To develop ideas for your critique, you should look at specific details such as these: • 1. What problems, weaknesses, or strengths do you find in the article? What parts of the article are weak or strong? • 2. Is the author's logic correct? Point out any fallacies or contradictions in the author's argument. • 3. What are the author's basic assumptions? Does the author support them? Are they valid, useful, . . . • 4. Does the author distort facts or omit ideas? Why does the author do this? Is this appropriate? • 5. What questions does the author leave unanswered or answer well? Are the explanations clear? • 6. What is the purpose of the article? Does it meet the author's purposes? Who is the audience for the article. Does it meet the readers' needs?
Work on organizing your critique. Be sure each paragraph has a specific purpose. You can organize your critique in many ways but here are the easiest ways • Pattern B • Introduction RelevanceSummaryThesis • Good points • Bad points • Your response • Conclusion + Recommendation • (article not so good) • Note: Give bad points first if you think the article is good) • Pattern A • IntroductionRelevanceSummaryThesis • Your response • Conclusion + Recommendation :
What steps should you take in summarizing the article? • 1. Take a quick overview of the article by reading • the title • the abstract • the introduction • the subheadings • the conclusion • Briefly state your position, state why the problem you are working on is important, and indicate the important questions that need to be answered; this is your "Introduction."
Read the Article Carefully • 2. Read the article without taking notes in order to gain an overall idea of its aim and main idea. • 3. Read the article again analytically and make notes of main ideas and main topic. • Highlight important ideas. • Make brief notes in the margin or on paper.
Check Your Notes • 4. Check your notes to ensure that they include: • the main aim of the article, e.g. to analyze, explain, evaluate, argue, criticize, discuss opposing views • Because you are in high school, your analysis REQUIRES an outside professional source supporting or refuting your article’s thesis.
In Your Summary • 5. Use your notes to write a summary • 6. In your summary ensure that you have paraphrased not plagiarized the authors' words and used quotations sparingly. • At the end of your article you must identify the works you used – Works Cited
What is involved in commenting critically on an article? • Commenting critically on an article involves analysis and evaluation. • Analysis of the article involves dissecting the information presented in order to identify the purpose, the main points, the methodology and the findings or conclusions of the article • (This is done in the initial summarizing step).
What criteria can be used for evaluating an article? • The following criteria are useful; however, not all of them will be relevant for evaluating all articles: • the logic of the view put forward • the validity of the evidence put forward • the validity of the conclusions • the thoroughness with which the article treats the topic • its value compared to that of other articles on the topic
What is the structure of a critical review? • Like most other writing you do at university level, a critical review has an introduction, a body and a conclusion. • Introduction • In the introduction you should: • • provide a context for the article (background information or shared knowledge) • • give the title of the article and name of author (full name is possible here) • identify the writer by profession or importance if appropriate • •include some indication as to why the subject is important and thus worth writing about • •identify the purpose of the article • •give an indication of your overall impression of the article in general terms.
Body • In the body you should: • summarize and analyze the contents of the article • •make clear by frequent reference to the author of the article that you are presenting the author(s) views, not yours • •evaluate the article. • The following is a suggested structure: • • an analytical summary of main findings/arguments/conclusions of article • • strengths/usefulness of article • • weaknesses/limitations/problems of the article especially for your purposes • (Or you might put these together so that each paragraph includes all four.) • Conclusion • In the conclusion you should: • summarize the previous discussion • make a final judgment on the value of the article • comment on the future of the issue/topic or implications of the view expressed.
What makes a good critical review? • A good critical review: • gives correct information about the author, date and article in the introduction • summarizes the purpose and main idea of the article in the introduction • •shows evidence of analytical thinking in the summary section • •evaluates the article against a number of criteria • •provides a final evaluation indicating the balance that is seen to exist between the strengths and weaknesses of the article • makes sufficient reference to the author of the article • • provides full bibliographical details of the article at the end of the review.
Economic analysis involves Identification of alternatives … their consequences … and their costs … the values of these … and how they compare … to inform the decision on whether you should do it
Final Reminders • • Even though you are potentially only referring to one source, you still need to cite your information, using either parenthetical citation or footnotes/endnotes. • Double check the assignment to make sure you have covered all the points that your teacher has asked.
DIRECTIONS FOR ACTIVITY • Now, do an analysis of the following paragraph for homework. • Identify one of the criteria for evaluation and follow one of the formats suggested in this lesson. • from Money* (1984) • by Martin Amis • In LA, you can’t do anything unless you drive. Now I can’t do anything unless I drink. And the drink-drive combination, it really isn’t possible out there. If you so much as loosen your seatbelt or drop you ashes or pick your nose, then it's an Alcatraz autopsy with the questions asked later. Any indiscipline, you feel, any variation, and there’s a bullhorn, a set of scope sights, and a coptered pig drawing a bead on your rug. • So what can a poor boy do? You come out of the hotel, the Vraimont. Over boiling Watts the downtown sky line carries a smear of God’s green snot. You walk left, you walk right, you are a bank rat on a busy river. This restaurant serves no drink, this one serves no meat, this one serves no heterosexuals. You can get your chimp shampooed, you can get your dick tattooed, twenty-four hours, but can you get lunch? And should you see a sign on the far side of the street flashing BEEF--BOOZE--NO STRINGS, then you can forget it. The only way to get across the road is to be born there. All the ped-xing signs say DON’T WALK, all of them, all the time. That is the message, the content of Los Angeles: don’t walk. Stay inside. Don’t walk. Drive. Don’t walk. Run! I tried the cabs. No use. The cabbies are all Saturnians who aren’t even sure whether this is a right planet or a left planet. The first thing you have to do, every trip, is teach them how to drive.