Tips on Assignment and Study guide for lecture 4

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6 Jan 2011
RLG202: Introduction to Judaism
Lec 4
Analytical responses to Primary Texts
-Dr. Tyler Evans-Tokaryle
Room 390, UTM Library 905 828 3858
What they are looking for from us:
understand key critical terms
ability to use the terms properly
you are participating in a scholarly conversation
when a phrase is repeated more than once you are ought to do this
oJewish self-understanding, though world and traditions
Your writing should focus on what and more on how
How the issues are represented in the litteratur under study
How ezperts in their field differ in ther interpretations
How for examples. A critical reading of Exodus 3-6 by scholar a differs
from our reading which is informed by scholar B
Why analysis of a primary source?
Will develop your avility to:
ounderstand main points of primary source
oengage in “close reading
oselect criteria for evaluating text
what are you looking for
a valued criteria
is it explicable
why this word and not this word
oread critiacally to determine texts explicit or implied arguemtn
odevelop thesis and argument
owrite in clear and focused manner
osituate test (put it in historical and cultural context)
The Assignment
oNot the same as study or interpret
oTake something apart and show how it goes back together
Develop an argument
oThesis statement: Mini thesis that provides a premise
oThesis driven analysis of a document
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You dont need to answer every questions in the instruction page
Step 1: Read ciritically
do a “close, critical reading of primary source
oread and re-read text (reading aloud helps)
read actively using evaluative criteria
annotate paraphrase
***ask questions***
note culturally and historically specific references
omark misunderstandings
note interesting diction, turns of phrase, allusions, tropes
look at individual words and the structure of the passage
oCambridge histories online
oEncyclopedia of religion
oEncyclopedia Judaica
oEncyclopedia of Islam
Questions to Ask When Reading and Writing Critically:
is the thesis of that work clear? Why or why not?
Is the authors argument valid? Why or Why not?
Does the author have a bias? Is it problematic or explicable?
Why or why not?
What kind of evidence does the author use to back up his or her
Step 2: Formulate an argument
Be evaluative
Examine writers assumptions
Put document intro conversation with other texts (from course syllabus
and immediate field of study)
oFind article sin databases such as ATLA, proquest religion,
index Islamicus, Old Testament Abstracts, New Testament
oCompare and Contrast
oTake a position about what document reveals about the Jewish
self-understanding, thought world and traditionsod the period in
which it was ritten and traditions of the period in which it was
written and its relevance in subsequent Jewish thought
Two things you can base your arguments
Step 3: Draft your analysis
your 2-3 pages should include
introduction with thesis (your argument what your text reveals about
jewish self-understanding/thought world/ traditions)
a brief summary of the passage that puts it into its immediate contect
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