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ENGL 112: February 6, 2013

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University of British Columbia
ENGL 112
Peter Mahon

ENGL 112: Strategies in University Writing February 6, 2013 Techniques for Critical Summary: Before getting into critical summary, some words on summarizing case studies, fold-stories, novels, films, creative non-fiction, etc.: these types of writing do not always clearly announce their conceptual levels; it is therefore up to the reader to supply the higher level concepts that the original does not supply on its surface. Thus, a reader might need to give names to story's key moments/episodes or provide a key concept to explain a situation. In doing so, a reader creates meaning and displays his/her critical skill and insight. For example, a reader might summarize a report stating "Several schools were burnt down in the last six months" using the concept "Vandalism." Or, when talking about the character of Cinderella, a reader could use the concept "the representation of women." More of this on pages 95-102 Part of your role as an academic wittier is to guide the reader through the different levels of information the constitute your argument: you demonstrate abstract/conceptual/statements with concrete details and explain the concepts at work in specific phenomena. Critical Frame and Critical Stance: As the name implies, critical summary builds on the techniques of summary (please remember to review notes of summary). A critical frame is an indispensable part of the critical summary.  Critical frame introduces a source openly and directly using reporting expressions o Ex. Calhouns essay "Heterosexuality" argues that  A critical farm indicates One of the major difficulties in writing a critical summary arises when you submit yourself to someone else's rigorous argument: you may feel that you are not in a position to criticize it. For example, you may thing that the argument is completely convincing (or unconvincing) or that you have nothing to add: this simply means you lack critical distance. To overcome this problem, you must detach yourself from the original argument: constructing a critical frame is the first step is detaching yourself from your source, allowing you to judge it impartially. Your frae first creates critical distance through the use of "reporting expressions" - references to the author(s), followed by a discursive verb:  Smith claims ….  Jones suggests ….  Fiske and Hartley argue …. Critical framing thus allows you to begin creating the distance needed to make a critique: it tells your reader that you are reporting information from elsewhere, and that you at a remove from it. A crucial part of the critical frame is a critical stance, where you evaluate the argument you have reconstructed in your summary. ENGL 112: Strategies in University Writing A critical stance is where you offer the reader statement of your own based on your analysis and interpretation of your sources. However, a critical stance does not simply condemn an argument as "mistaken" or "wrong"; nor does it praise an argument as being "totally excellent." A critical stance is not simply an "opinion" - especially one which praises or blames. Begin constructing your critical stance by looking caref
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