Critical Analysis is an examination of how logically an author has argued his or her case. You are considering whether the argument can stand up to close, objective examination.

  Word Length: 750 words minimum; 1000 words maximum


• Critical Analysis is an examination of how logically an author has argued his or her case. You are considering whether the argument can stand up to close, objective examination.

• Your task is to assess the validity of an argument, outline its limits, and explain why it does or does not seem sound, logical, or well-supported.

• The Critical Analysis Assignment asks you to choose one of the essays and write at least 750 word essay in response.

• You can choose from any of the following essays:

• Bruce Mau, “Imagining the Future”, The Walrus

• George Monbiot, “In an age of robots, schools are teaching our children to be redundant”, The Guardian

• Bruce Mau, “Is the World Getting Better or Worse?”, The Walrus

• Kim Stanley Robinson, ”Empty half the Earth of its humans. It’s the only way to save the planet”, The Guardian

• Kate Harris, “Where Not to Travel in 2019, or Ever”, The Walrus

Consider the following as you read your chosen essay…

• What assumptions has the author made about the topic and about their readers? Note that making incorrect assumptions (faulty premises) in these areas makes the logical foundation unsound and can undermine the validity of the the entire argument.

• What evidence has the author used to support his or her thesis? Is the evidence accurate and authoritative? How do you know? Is there any evidence that the author should have included but did not? An argument can be logical only if offers adequate, appropriate supporting evidence.

• Do you think the author has made an argument that most people would find persuasive? If so, why? If not, what error did he or she make? • When we write, we write from our own perspective or point of view. This is called “bias”. What is the author’s bias? How do you know? What would be different in the article if the author had a different bias?

• What is your own bias as a reader? How does who you are influence how you read the essay?

Formatting Guidelines:

1. Write at least 4 complete paragraphs for a minimum of 750 words.

2. Identify the title of the reading and the author by their full name in your introduction paragraph. Put the reading’s title in quotation marks. Subsequently, you do not have to refer to the full title, and you can refer to the author by their last name only.

3. Give examples (direct quotes, paraphrases, summaries) from your chosen essay to clearly and directly support your conclusions.

4. Integrate your quotes grammatically into your sentence structure.

5. Provide in-text citations that are correctly formatted according to your chosen citation style.

6. Provide a bibliography of your sources, even if it is only the original essay, formatted according to your chosen citation style.

Essay Structure:

Introduction Paragraph: What work are you analysing? Who was it written by? When was it it written? Where was it published? What is the subject? What is its take or stand on its subject (its thesis)?

First Body Paragraph – Description: Outline and summarize the article, briefly noting the arguments it makes and the ways in which it makes them. Offer background information about the piece, particularly noting why and for what audience it seems to have been written.

Second (to Third) Body Paragraph(s) – Analysis: Discuss the validity of the arguments made in the essay. Examine the ways in which the arguments were made. Explore any faults in logic or gaps in reasoning. Analyze the author’s bias and your own bias.

Conclusion Paragraph: After stating the overall impression the article makes, judge whether or not it was effectively written and logically argued. Explain how the essay could have been improved in its language and logic.

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