Being Critical


Task 1: What does critical and criticality mean for you?


Does it have a positive or a negative connotation?  Connotation means a feeling or idea suggested by the word itself.

The word critical often has a negative meaning, while critical analysiscritical reading or critical thinking do not necessarily mean to look for flaws or problems in a text.


Take a look at these video game reviews.

  • Do they see the game the same way?
  • What characteristics of the games are revealed?
  • Are these reviews reliable? Why?
  • Who is writing these reviews?
  • What kind of information do we need to decide whether we can trust the content of the game reviews?

Make notes of your answers.

  • Task 2: Asking the right questions – background information (Description)


First we start with the background information we can gather about the publication. This part is the so called description.


Take a look at your notes to lessons 1.2 (Task 2 – live lesson material).

Which questions in the tasks are related to background information?

Which stage of the SQ4R are background questions related to (Lesson 1.4)?


When you are writing at University level very little of your writing should be description.

Write down your answers.

Task 3Asking the right questions – content of the text (Analysis)


The second set of questions is not exactly about the topic content of the text, but whether it presents opinions or facts. Take a look at Prügl and True (2014) and Calkin (2015) and answer the following questions:


1) How do you know whether they give facts or opinions?

2) How does the author try to convince me? Has the author conducted any research? Is it sufficient/ convincing?

3) Are there any flaws in the methodology?

4) Does the author use other type of support, such as quotes, visual evidence (charts, graphs, photos)?

5) Are the author’s conclusions reasonable considering the evidence presented?

6) How do the conclusions relate to other similar research?


Make notes of your answers. You will need them during the live lesson.

Task 4: Asking the right questions – context of the text (Evaluation)


This step is when you bring yourself into the academic discussion by adding your experience. It will become a conversation between you, the text and the author(s). These are the questions that you should consider:


Look at Prugle and True (2014) and Calin (2015) and answer the following questions.


7) Does the article support or contradict other information? If yes, what I am going to do with it? Does it support any other articles or school of thought?

8) What assumptions did the author make? Are they valid?

9) Does the article support or contradict what I know about the topic from my experience?

10) How else could the article have been written?


Make notes of your answers. You will need them during the live lesson.