Academic writing using literature to demonstrate critical analysis

Importance of critical writing

This study guide gives ideas for how to improve the level of critical analysis you demonstrate in your writing. While a certain amount of description is necessary to set the context for your analysis, the main characteristic of academic writing is its critical element. It is also a way of checking that, when your reader comes to the end of your writing, the conclusions make sense, rather than being a surprise, or an unconvincing leap of logic. 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. Sometimes a generalised, sweeping statement can slip through: the kind of statement that might be acceptable on conversation, but not in academic writing. Using Paragraphs and The Art of Editing. Try to get into the habit of writing critically, by making sure that you read critically, and that you include critique in your writing. Is my conclusion trailed and supported sufficiently well by my preceding analysis and argument? Overgeneralisations and assumptions Researchers often make simplifying assumptions when tackling a complex problem.

Finding your academic voice When you engage in critical writing you are developing your own academic voice within your subject. There is also the trap that it can be easy to use many, many words from your word limit, simply providing description.

critical writing strategies

Strategic use of paragraphs There are several ways in which you can use the paragraph to enhance your critical writing. Line of argument So far this study guide has considered the detail of what you write.

Critical analysis in nursing assignments

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. 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. 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. There is also the trap that it can be easy to use many, many words from your word limit, simply providing description. Wellington et al. Example: Correlation vs. In providing only description, you are presenting but not transforming information; you are reporting ideas but not taking them forward in any way. This can help in: emphasising to the reader that you are including both description and critical analysis, by providing a visual representation of their separation; and pushing you to produce the necessary critical writing, especially if you find that your description paragraphs are always longer, or more frequent, than your critical analysis paragraphs. 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. Example: Limitations due to sample group Limitations can arise due to participant numbers. Other study guides you may find useful are: What is Critical Reading? Checklist for an overall review of your writing It is always worth taking a critical look at your own writing before submitting it for assessment. The most characteristic features of descriptive writing are that it will describe something, but will not go beyond an account of what appears to be there.

This can help in: emphasising to the reader that you are including both description and critical analysis, by providing a visual representation of their separation; and pushing you to produce the necessary critical writing, especially if you find that your description paragraphs are always longer, or more frequent, than your critical analysis paragraphs.

The balance will change at different points, but you need to make sure there is enough of the colour that represents critical writing. The other key element in critical writing is the overall structure of your piece of writing. What is critical writing?

Critical writing wikipedia

Wellington et al. The aim is to lead your readers carefully through the thread of your argument, to a well-supported 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. 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. You are representing the situation as it stands, without presenting any analysis or discussion. It is important, however, to remember that you also need to interpret the quotes to the reader, and to explain their relevance, discuss their validity, and show how they relate to other evidence. Below are some written examples of the observations a critical reader may make whilst commenting on various issues in text. For maximum effectiveness, your writing needs to have a line, or lines of argument running through it from the Introduction to the Conclusion. Overgeneralisations and assumptions Researchers often make simplifying assumptions when tackling a complex problem. The most characteristic features of critical writing are: a clear and confident refusal to accept the conclusions of other writers without evaluating the arguments and evidence that they provide; a balanced presentation of reasons why the conclusions of other writers may be accepted or may need to be treated with caution; a clear presentation of your own evidence and argument, leading to your conclusion; and a recognition of the limitations in your own evidence, argument, and conclusion. While the results might provide some insight, these answers will also likely have some limitations. Beyond that, however, there is a danger that too much descriptive writing will use up valuable words from your word limit, and reduce the space you have for the critical writing that will get you higher marks.

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. 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.

This study guide gives ideas for how to improve the level of critical analysis you demonstrate in your writing. Example: Limitations due to sample group Limitations can arise due to participant numbers. So, a sentence or two might describe and reference the evidence, but this is not enough in itself.

Overgeneralisations and assumptions Researchers often make simplifying assumptions when tackling a complex problem.

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Academic writing: using literature to demonstrate critical analysis