August 21, 2017 | Author: John Vincent Manzan | Category: Feminism, Ethnicity, Race & Gender, Patriarchy, Argument, Gender
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English for Academic and Professional Purposes 1st Semester, SY 2016-2017 WRITING A REACTION PAPER, REVIEW AND CRITIQUE What are Reaction Papers, Reviews, and Critiques? A reaction paper, a review, and a critique are specialized forms of writing in which a reviewer or reader evaluates any of the following:  A scholarly work (e.g., academic books and articles)  A work of art (e.g., performance art, play, dance, sports, film, exhibits)  Designs (e.g., industrial designs, furniture, fashion design)  Graphic designs (e.g., posters, billboards, commercials, and digital media) Reaction papers, reviews, critiques usually range in length from 250-750 words. They are not simply summaries but are critical assessments, analyses, or evaluation of different works. As advanced forms of writing, they involve your skills in critical thinking and recognizing arguments. However, you should connect the word critique to cynicism and pessimism. CRITICAL APPROACHES IN WRITING A CRITIQUE There are various ways or standpoints by which you can analyze and critique a certain material. You can critique a material based on its technical aspects, its approach to gender, your reaction as the audience, or through its portrayal of class struggle and social structure. 1. Formalism- claims that literary works contain intrinsic properties and treats each work as a distinct work of art. In short, it posits that the key to understanding a text is through the text itself; the historical context, the author, or any other external contexts are not necessary in interpreting the meaning. Following are the common aspects looked into formalism: Author’s techniques in resolving contradictions within the work Central passage that sums up the entirety of the work Contribution of parts and the work as a whole to its aesthetic quality Relationship of the form and the content Use of imagery to develop the symbols in the work Interconnectedness of various parts of the work Paradox, ambiguity, and irony in the work Unity in the work 2. Feminist Criticism-also called feminism, it focuses on how literature presents women as subjects of socio-political, psychological, and economic oppression. It also reveals how aspects of our culture are patriarchal, i.e., how our culture views men as superior and women as inferior. The common aspects looked into when using feminism are as follows: How culture determines gender How gender equality (or lack of it) is presented in the text How gender issues are presented in literary works and other aspects of human production and daily life How women are socially, politically, psychologically, and economically oppressed by patriarchy How patriarchal ideology is an overpowering presence 3. Reader-Response Criticism- is concerned with the reviewer’s reaction as an audience of a work. This approach claims that the reader’s role cannot be separated from the understanding of the work; a text does not have meaning until the reader reads it and interprets it. Readers are therefore not passive and distant, but are active consumers of the material presented to them. The common aspects looked into when using reader response criticism are as follows: Interaction between the reader and the text in creating meaning The impact of the reader’s delivery of sounds and visuals on enhancing and changing meaning 4. Marxist Criticism- is concerned with differences between economic classes and implications of a capitalist system, such as the continuing conflicts between the working class and the elite. Hence, it attempts to reveal that the ultimate source of people’s experience is the socioeconomic system. The common aspects looked into when using Marxist criticism are as follows: Social class as represented in the work Social class of the writer/creator Social class of the characters Conflicts and interactions between economic classes Note that these are not the only critical approaches you can use. Other approaches in writing a critique include postmodern criticism, post-colonial criticism, structuralism, psychological criticism, gender criticism, ecocriticism, biographical criticism, historical criticism, mythological criticism, and deconstructionist criticism. STRUCTURE OF A REACTION PAPER, REVIEW, OR CRITIQUE You have to follow a logical organization and structure for your reaction paper or review to be able to present your critical evaluation effectively. Structure for Critiques of Academic Researches and Articles Introduction (around 5% of the paper) o Title of the book/article/work o Writer’s name o Thesis Statement Summary (Around 10% of the paper)

o Objective or purpose o Methods used (if applicable) o Major findings, claims, ideas, or messages Review/Critique (in no particular order and around 75% of the paper) o Appropriateness of methodology to support the arguments (for books and articles) or appropriateness of mode of presentation (other works) o Theoretical soundness, coherence of ideas o Sufficiency and soundness of explanation in relation to other available information and experts o Other perspectives in explaining the concepts and ideas o It is best to ask the following questions during this part:  Does the writer explicitly state his/her thesis statement?  What are the assumptions (i.e., scientific/logical/literary explanation without evidence) mentioned in the work? Are they explicitly discussed?  What are the contributions of the work to the field where it belongs?  What problems and issues are discussed or presented in the work?  What kinds of information (e.g., observation, survey, statistics, historical accounts) are presented in the work? How are they used to support the arguments or thesis?  Are there other ways of supporting the arguments or thesis aside from the information used in the work? Is the author or creator silent about these alternative ways of explanation? Conclusion (around 10% of the paper) o Overall impression of the work o Scholarly or literary value of the reviewed article, book, or work o Benefits for the intended audience or field o Suggestion for future direction of research For other types of reviews, there is no prescribed structure, but the following sections are almost always present. Introduction o Basic details about the material, such as its title, director or artist, name of exhibition/event, and the like o Main assessment of the material (for films and performances) Plot Summary/Description o Gist of the plot o Simple description of the artwork Analysis/Interpretation Discussion and analysis of the work (you may employ the critical approach here) It is best to ask the following questions during this part. o What aspects of the work make you think it is a success or failure? o Were there unanswered questions or plot lines? If yes, how did they affect the story? o Does the work remind you of other things you have experienced through analogies, metaphors, or other figurative How does this contribute to the meaning? o How does the work relate to other ideas or events in the world and/or in your other studies? o What stood out while you were watching the film or the performance? Conclusion/Evaluation o Reinforcement of main assessment o Comparison to a similar work o Recommendation of the material (if you liked it)


GUIDELINES IN WRITING A REACTION PAPER, REVIEW, OR CRITIQUE 1. For articles or journals a. Read, view or listen to the work to be reviewed carefully to get the main topic or the concepts presented. Then revisit the work to further identify its arguments or message. b. Relate the content of the work to what you already know about the topic. This will make you more engaged in the article or book. c. Focus on discussing how the book treats the topic and not the topic itself. Use phrases such as this book/work presents and the author argues. d. Situate your review. This means that your analysis should be anchored on the theories presented by the writer or creator. e. Report the type of analysis or mode of presentation the writer/creator used and how this type of analysis supports the arguments and claims. f. Examine whether the findings are adequately supported and how the connections between ideas affect the conclusion and findings. g. Suggest points for improvement of the reasoning, explanation, presentation of ideas, as we as alternative methods and processes of reasoning. h. Compare the writer’s or creator’s explanation of the topic to that of another expert from the same field of study. i. Point out other conclusions or interpretations that the writer/creator missed out. Present other ideas that need to be examined. j. Show your agreement with the writer’s or creator’s ideas and present an explanation for this agreement. 2. For artworks and other media a. When critiquing artworks or posters, make sure to use speculative verbs such as evoke, create, appear, and suggest to show that your interpretation of the artist’s work is just that- an interpretation. b. Presume that the reader has not yet seen the material you are reviewing, so make sure to describe it to them. For reviews of films or plays, make sure not to spoil key events unless they figure in your review, in which case always add a disclaimer. c. For artworks, describe the material in simple terms to help your audience visualize it; refrain from being vague or abstract. 3. On a general note, your reaction paper’s conclusion may focus on the following ideas. a. Did the work hold your interest? b. Did the work excite or annoy you? c. Did the work prompt you to raise questions to the author? d. Did the work lead you to some realizations?

e. Did the work remind you of other materials that you have read, viewed or listened to in the past?

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