Part 1: Summary Critique

hello in this video we’ll be talking about critique critical evaluation and how to specifically write a summary critique so the first thing that you want to think about is what does it really mean to be critical remember that there is a difference between criticizing and thinking critically about a text and then we’re also going to talk a little bit about what it means to evaluate when you’re being critical you’re questioning the information and the opinions in a text so your answers to those questions after you ask them may cast the text in a positive or negative light a lot of times critiques end up being a bit of a mixed response they might have some points that they saw in the article that they’re critiquing that they felt were good and others that they feel need for their research so remember you’re you’re wanting to evaluate the text in order to make some kind of contribution to the corpus evaluation means determining the strengths and the weaknesses of a text based on specific criteria so we’ll talk a bit later in this video series about how to determine what criteria you should use when you’re evaluating a text for critique the first part of a summary critique that you’re going to write is the summary which comprises the introduction the introduction is going to contain these parts you’ll introduce the author and the topic of the article that you’re critiquing you’ll present the aim or purpose of that article you’ll summarize the author’s key findings and ideas and then you’ll also include your own you the reviewer your own reaction to the work and that’s going to be your thesis statement so let’s have a look at each of these parts the very first sentence in the introduction of your critique should contain the source and the main idea of that source not of your critique but of the original source so here’s a sample in their October 2010 r2 on the daily Egyptian posher defends the dissertation against plagiarism charges authors Wilson and Crawford report the SIU president Glenn Poe sherds 1984 doctoral dissertation contained many examples of blatant plagiarism so you can see here is the date here is the publication that it was in here is the actual name of the article the author’s name and then this is the subject and you’ll notice they’re not providing any kind of judgment any kind of evaluation of the topic they’re not saying that the author’s were right or that the authors were wrong they’re simply supplying what the main idea was and that’s really important because you want your summary to be unbiased and neutral so here’s a few other sample first sentences just so you can see it put in a few different structures and you’ll notice all of them have the author’s name the date the name of the article and then they’ll end with the main idea of that article during this introduction you want to remain neutral you’re not ready yet to reveal to the reader your opinion about the text so you also want to be careful not to provide a mixed message about what kind of evaluation you’re going to be writing so just to give you an example here is the exact same introductory summary and you can see here they’ve used this word alleges and here they’ve used the word assumed so if you’ve watched the video on denotation and connotation you already know that words can have emotional associations and when you think of this word alleges is it’s kind of like someone has committed a crime and this word assumes and it’s denotation actually means someone who says something without necessarily having proof so you can see you got a denotation and connotation problem with these two words so in order to do this so that you have an unbiased summary a better way might be to say something like explores the possibility instead you could also were use a word like discovers or examines scrutinizes investigates researches so there’s a lot of words a lot of options for you you just want to be really careful not to give hints that you know either way about what your opinion of this article is just yet after you write the first sentence you’re going to provide a more extended summary a few important things to remember when you’re writing the summary your your summary the length of your summary is going to depend on the length of the article itself so if you’re summarizing a one-page article you should be able to do that in a sub for a summary critique in a paragraph if you’ve got you know a six-page article it might take you three paragraphs to provide the summary of the main points remember that when you’re providing the summary of the main points you’re you need to avoid specific details so there shouldn’t really be quotes at this point you’re not going to be making any points you are just over viewing the points that were actually made in the article and then presenting the aim of the text or whatever the key argument is will be the last part so first you’ve got your sentence then that introduces the author then you’ve got the main points and then whatever the key argument was or perhaps the key finding that will come last keep it neutral avoid specific details and again the length of it can vary finally after you’ve finished the summary portion the last sentence in your summary you’re going to be transitioning now into the critique so that’s going to be your thesis statement it’s a brief statement of your own evaluation of the article that you have read this can be positive positive or positive negative but never negative positive and what I mean by that let me show you some examples so you can see in this sample introduction we’ve got the first sentence that has the article the author’s name and all of the information about it and then what he does okay what it’s about then you can see it would go into the main parts of the article which I haven’t included here but depending on what the article is about and how long it’s going to be and then based on that evidence what the final conclusion was and then your own transitional thesis would look something like this while Underhill’s article raises a timely and important issue now that is a positive statement about Underhill’s so that’s what I mean when I say positive positive or positive negative you can see here he neglects to that’s our first negative word in this entire summary critique he neglects to and so that is a positive negative transitional thesis for a critique if I were going to say you know Underhill’s article not only raises a timely and important issue but he also and then obviously that’s going to be a positive positive I’m going to be really focusing in the article about you know what a good job he did and so it’s not that nowhere in my if I have a positive positive thesis it doesn’t necessarily mean that nowhere in my critique am I going to provide any weaknesses or suggestions for future research based on Underhill’s article but it means that the majority you know for the most part my article is going to be pretty positive on the other hand if you have a positive negative then you can expect a critique that is primarily negative so I’m just going to show you two research articles one that I think is not so good at providing their summary and another one that I think did a little bit better job so in the introduction here they say in 2004 it was announced they talked about this border collie from Germany but they don’t actually say they say science had validated their belief but they don’t explicitly say who these researchers were and what article it is that they’re talking about even though it becomes clear if you’re familiar with the topic that they are talking about the Kaminsky and bloom research related to Rico the border collie who they thought could fast map so the first thing that they’re missing is this key sentence where you’re supposed to have all of the information about the original article and that’s really important because if someone reads your critique they want to be able to decide for themselves whether or not they agree with you and they can’t do that unless you give them the information that they need in order to find the original source and then the next thing that I think this article does wrong is they really use a lot of evaluative language in their summary you know just kind of saying the public lapped it up and you know this enthralled and and sort of making it seem very fantastical and not possible so they have revealed quite a bit about the way they feel about it in the initial introduction and then the last thing that I think that they do wrong I guess I will say wrong I don’t like it is that they don’t provide a positive- thesis they’re really you know any time you’re going to critique someone who you want to show respect to them you want to show that yes you know I understand this person has put a lot of time into their research even though I don’t agree and so by having a positive- thesis instead of a negative negative thesis you’re sort of tipping their hat your hat to them and saying yes you know I respect you however I would like to kindly disagree with you and it’s just much more polite than just saying I think you suck and yes you suck you’re wrong so those are this is an example of one that I don’t think did a very great job on their introduction and let’s have a look at another one so this is a critique of the article that we just looked at and I think they’ve done a much better job with their introduction you can see they start right away in the beginning here’s the author’s name here’s where the article appeared here’s what happened and I want to point out an important point about the language that’s used here he’s saying makes claims that she calls preposterous outlandish okay obviously preposterous and outlandish are evaluative language however this author Loxton is not saying that Peterson is outlandish or preposterous he’s only quoting what she said in order to provide a clear summary of the feelings that she put forth in her article if that makes sense so it’s okay to have evaluative language that belongs to the author you’re critiquing in your summary but it’s not okay to have evaluative language that are your own opinions and thoughts about that article so the next thing they do is they talk a little bit about the points so you can see here’s the summary the main points that she made and then he provides a transition right about here so you can see his summary is pretty short it’s really only this first sentence so you can see the summary kind of ends here and then he he doesn’t so much have a positive negative or negative negative thesis it’s a little bit more complex than that and I think one of the reasons for the complexity is that this is a critique of a critique and not a summary critique of a research study which Peterson is actually critiquing the original research study and then here Loxton is critiquing Peterson who critiqued the research and so but you’ll also notice that even though he’s not really positive he does provide I think adequate hedging this strong dismissal seems odd you know he’s kind of using us into okay now wait a minute which is exactly what I’m talking about when I say you need to think critically about a text you need to ask questions and then you need to weigh the strengths and weaknesses so it’s almost like you’re hearing him sort of questioning the Peterson article in his introduction and then he starts starts really making points in his next paragraph so I hope that helps you understand the introduction part of a summary critique