Writing Critical Essays

Writing Critical Essays-68
There are several ways in which you can use the paragraph to enhance your critical writing.

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In providing only description, you are presenting but not transforming information; you are reporting ideas but not taking them forward in any way.

An assignment using only descriptive writing would therefore gain few marks.

The aim is to lead your readers carefully through the thread of your argument, to a well-supported conclusion.

The text below is an example of good critical writing, and is based on essay material supplied by University of Leicester’s School of Psychology.

With critical writing you are participating in the academic debate. You need to weigh up the evidence and arguments of others, and to contribute your own.

You will need to: A much higher level of skill is clearly needed for critical writing than for descriptive writing, and this is reflected in the higher marks it is given.The next few sentences need to explain what this evidence contributes to the argument you are making.This may feel like duplication at first, or that you are explaining something that is obvious, but it is your responsibility to ensure that the relevance of the evidence is explained to the reader; you should not simply assume that the reader will be following the same logic as you, or will just work out the relevance of the quote or data you have described.The author refers to the available evidence, but also evaluates the validity of that evidence, and assesses what contribution it can realistically make to the debate.There are a number of inherent methodological difficulties in evaluating treatment efficacy in this area, and this has contributed to controversy within the research literature surrounding treatment outcomes for this group of offenders (Marshall, 1997).For maximum effectiveness, your writing needs to have a line, or lines of argument running through it from the Introduction to the Conclusion.Just as you have used paragraphs on a micro scale to present your critical writing, so you need to consider the ordering of those paragraphs within the overall structure.This can help in: A paragraph break can provide a brief pause for your readers within a longer argument; giving them the opportunity to make sure they are keeping up with your reasoning.Paragraphs that are overly long can require readers to hold too much in their mind at once, resulting in their having to re-read the material until they can identify the point you are making.A certain amount of descriptive writing is needed to establish for example: With descriptive writing you are not developing argument; you are merely setting the background within which an argument can be developed.You are representing the situation as it stands, without presenting any analysis or discussion. There is also the trap that it can be easy to use many, many words from your word limit, simply providing description.

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