Bring Critical Part 2


When you are doing a third year degree programme or masters degree you are expected to be able to critically evaluate arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and data to make judgements and to frame appropriate questions to achieve a solution or identify a range of solutions to a problem. You also need to be able to demonstrate an appreciation of the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge.

Your lecturers will EXPECT you to be critical.

Yesterday we looked at what criticality is and some questions you can ask about a text. Today we will look at criticality in more detail.


Task 1: It is always useful to look at your reading as a model for your writing.

On Page1158 of Prugel and True (2014) we can find some examples of criticality:

We found little evidence in”

“There is no reflection on”

“diminishes the importance of these other issues”

“There is little reflection in”

Have a look at Calkin (2015) and find examples of  criticality. Make a note of what page and paragraph they are in and bring them to class with you.


Task 2: When being critical it helps to consider different perspectives.

Who are the different stakeholders (people involved or affected by) in the issue of gender equality in developing nations? Make a list and speculate on what their view of initiatives like NIKE’s  Girl Effect’ might be.  See the example in the table below for ideas. Make sure you bring your ideas to class with you.

For example:


Stakeholder Possible views 
Girls in developing nations  Happy to be given opportunities


Task 3: Language to use to show criticality

Perhaps the easiest way to show criticality is to use adjectives and adverbs. See the three examples below from Prügl and True (2014) and Calkin (2015) and answer the questions.


  • The most influential (and controversial) account of feminism’s co-optation by neo- liberalism comes from Nancy Fraser’s recent work on the ‘cunning of history’.


  • What does the statement says about Nancy Fraser’s recent work?
  • Is it something positive or negative, or maybe both?
  • What kind of word does the author use for this: a noun, verb, adjective, adverb?
  • At which stage would you use this sentence: Description, Analysis or Evaluation?


2) Transcripts or minutes of network meetings unfortunately are not published; thus, the network is relatively non-transparent.

  • What does the statement say about the transparency of the network?
  • Why?
  • At which stage would you use this sentence: Description, Analysis or Evaluation?



3) Yet, this claim deserves further scrutiny: Where are these ‘neoliberal’ feminists? What kinds of power do they possess and what vision of gender justice do they (fail to) articulate?

  • What does the statement say about the ‘claim’?
  • At which stage would you use this sentence: Description, Analysis or Evaluation?



This website has a great bank of language to use when being critical: