Introduction to Critical Review Instrumental Analysis CHFEN 5503 Sarah Read, C.E.L.
Ways of Reading a Text • For Content to get information from the text: Answers the question “What is this text about?” • For Function to understand how the text is constructed. Answers the question “What is this text doing?” (thesis, main point, introduction, example, conclusion) • Rhetorically to put the text in the broader context of the field: Answers the question “What is the author’s purpose, context, intended audience, bias?”
2 Roles for Doing Research Layperson: Focuses on the issues and problems of the assignment and topic, but does not do so within the discourse (insider’s knowledge and perspective) of Chemical Engineering. Examples of how we are laypersons everyday… Professional-in-training: Focuses on the issues and problems of the assignment and topic, but uses the methodologies and jargon of the field. Contexts in which we have the authority of an insider…
What makes a critical review different? • Your purpose is to evaluate your research, not to just report it. • Thus, it is an argument (think: thesis and supporting points) for your assessment of the source(s) you research.
How to treat each source: • Write an interpretive summary of the main points. This is your hypothesis about what is important and relevant for your reader to know about the source. You do not need to be comprehensive. • Present what you believe are the most important strengths and weaknesses of the source and explain why. Compare the source to your other sources. Think rhetorically (in context) and with authority. What do you—the professional—think?
What Makes a Question “Researchable”? • It’s not too broad or too narrow for the scope of the project. Consider time/length. • The question focuses on some aspect of the topic about which something has been said. Sources are available. • It interests the researcher. You are interested. • It matters to your field. • It raises more questions. Avoid Yes/No questions. The answer to the question should not be simple.