How to Read Actively for Writing Reviews and A Critical Analysis of Books & Texts

Writer, Machine, To Write, Machine Writing, Old

In the Free Online Course in Writing from Duke University, the student is taught how to actively read a book or other text to understand it for critical response. It is suggested that the analytical readers become active readers and to make notations on the text, as he reads it. Following are some of the things to note:

[All of the following visuals were part of a lecture from Duke University].

You can register for this free course from Duke Here.

1

In commenting on another person’s work, the reviewer might focus on one of more of the following areas:

2

If the reviewer elects to analyze the main argument of the text, he might consider the following:

A

If the reviewer wants to analyze the purpose or the goal of the text, he might consider the following:

3

If the reviewer wants to analyze the writer’s use of rhetorical devices he might consider the following:

4

Note: The writer uses Ethos to establish credibility.

About a week ago, I wrote that in rhetorical writing, the writer can use one of four devices or any combination of the four to make his arguments more convincing  Here.

I followed that by writing a piece that demonstrates the use of Ethos.  Here.

When a writer relies on Ethos, he relies on his credentials to persuade his reader.

When a writer uses Pathos, he hopes to persuade his reader with emotion. No doubt, the commercials for the animal shelters are some of the best at using Pathos to persuade. They are heart-wrenching, but Pathos can employ other types of emotions, too. I discuss how a Geico commercial uses Pathos Here.

When a writer appeals to the readers’ logic or reason, he is using the rhetorical device of Logos.

A reviewer may also want to learn more about the writer’s occasion or the context for writing the text.This may require outside research.

5

The reviewer might also want to note any questions that he has about the text, as he reads it.

6

 

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