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John Zaixin Zhang

 
 
 

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Critical Thinking and the Scholarly Essay in Literary Criticism  

2017-11-09 13:52:15|  分类: +英语写作教程: |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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讲座简介

讲座课件和参考资料链接: https://pan.baidu.com/s/1bpDAHbh 密码: dmtc

 

Critical Thinking and the Scholarly Essay in Literary Criticism

(Outline)

Zhang Zaixin

SEIS, BFSU

Time: 15: 00 – 17:00, November 7, 2017

Venue: 303, Run Run Shaw Building

       This talk is not about helpful guidelines for a generic scholarly essay you may find at a website (like those in the Harvard College Writing Program at Harvard.edu). Instead, it is about specific tips for writing a research paper in literary criticism from the perspective of critical thinking, by fleshing out the nine Universal Intellectual Standards introduced by Linda Elder and Richard Paul. The material we are going to use in the talk is from critical thinking exercises and specific examples and details from Lois Tyson’s textbook, Critical Theory Today. So, come and learn how to write a scholarly essay in literary criticism with a clear and valid argument for a specific audience and avoid fallacies that could undermine your whole project.


Why do we need critical thinking?

l  A passage from “The Lottery”

l  A film clip from Thank You for Smoking:

A televised debate between Big Tobacco and Congress

       Critical Thinking: intelligent reasoning with supporting evidence to help make wise decisions, the ability to analyze, criticize and advocate ideas

       Logos: Nine Universal Intellectual Standards (Elder and Paul)

       Make a claim/argument and prove it

1.      Breadth: your argument as another point of view (potentially contributing to the existing scholarship on your topic)

l  Three levels of adequacy: descriptive, evaluative, and critical

2.      Significance: the central idea of your essay

l  Argument (related to breadth): a clear thesis statement (a message about your topic, verbal links) + a plan of development (optional)

l  Proof: topic sentence paragraphs (textual evidence, cited critical views, verbal links to the thesis statement)

3.      Relevance: addressing the audience

l  Style relevant to the needs of a specific audience

l  Content relevant to the needs of a specific audience

4.      Clarity: examples in paragraph development

l  SES: statement, elaboration, and specifics

5.      Precision: concrete, specific details

l  Show more than tell

l  The RENNS model: Reasons, Examples, Names, Numbers, and Senses

6.      Depth: complexities of an issue

l  Examining an issue from different angles

Evaluate Evidence (from other critical views as well as for your own)

7.      Accuracy: cogency of an argument  

l  Every premise must be true.

8.      Logic: validity of an argument

l  The form of a reasoning process must be valid.

l  Avoid formal fallacies: equivocation, circular reasoning, shared characteristic

9.      Fairness: avoid biases (part of ethos)

l  Avoid content fallacies: attacking the person, a straw man, a loaded question, and a complex question

Avoid other content fallacies

1.      Suppressed evidence

2.      Slippery slope

3.      Non sequitur

4.      Inconsistency

5.      Trivial objection

6.      False dilemma

7.      False analogy

8.      Begging the question

Ethos: your credibility as an author

l  Citing evidence (facts, statistics, definitions, critical views) from reputable sources

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