Session 4

Academic Writing 7 – Criticism and evaluation

Welcome back to Academic Writing – the course with the tips and knowledge for top-class writing on your distance learning course. This time we're looking at how to be critical in your writing. 'Criticism' in an academic context means 'careful analysis of what other people have said or written and stating whether or not we agree with them – and why'. Are you ready to get critical?

Sessions in this unit

Session 4 score

0 / 17

  • 0 / 6
    Activity 1
  • 0 / 3
    Activity 2
  • 0 / 8
    Activity 3

Activity 2

Three reporting phrases

Other ways to show your attitude to sources

We've seen some 'distancing verbs'; and we've looked at 'endorsing verbs'. Now let's examine three more ways to express the degree to which we agree with our sources.

 

Try the activity

To do

Read these three sentences – taken from academic assignments on Business Studies, Geography and Biology – and in each case, decide whether the writer agrees with the source (Subraman, McKay, and Papillon). You can check your answers in the activity below.

Sentence 1: 'According to Subraman...'
According to Subraman (2001), studying Business Administration typically increases a student’s earning power by around 30%.

Sentence 2: 'As McKay demonstrates...'
As McKay (2017) demonstrates, the academic study of geography has its roots in nineteenth-century European imperialism.

Sentence 3: Paraphrase, ending with a citation
During floods, the behaviour of fire ants becomes significantly more aggressive (Papillion et al., 2011).

Phrases for showing your attitude towards sources

3 Questions

Do we use these phrases to endorse a source – say we agree with it – or distance ourselves from it and not reveal whether we agree or disagree?

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
Excellent! Great job! Bad luck! You scored:
x / y

Phrases for showing your attitude towards sources

3 Questions

Do we use these phrases to endorse a source – say we agree with it – or distance ourselves from it and not reveal whether we agree or disagree?

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
Excellent! Great job! Bad luck! You scored:
x / y

Next

Now it's time to work on making critical comments and properly evaluating sources you include in your assignments – find out how with the next activity.

Session Vocabulary

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