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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 1

Writing critically: what's your attitude?

In British academic culture, students are usually expected to examine other researchers’ ideas carefully, and then comment on them in their assignments, usually stating whether they are acceptable or not.

Scroll down and try our activities to improve your critical writing!

Reporting verbs

Try the activity

To do

Imagine you're writing an essay. You're including several sources, and because you're writing critically, you need to comment on them. Which of these six verbs can you use to indicate that you agree with a source?

Reporting verbs: agreeing or disagreeing

6 Questions

Sort these six reporting verbs according to whether they are used to agree with a source or for when you don't want to say whether you agree or disagree

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Reporting verbs: agreeing or disagreeing

6 Questions

Sort these six reporting verbs according to whether they are used to agree with a source or for when you don't want to say whether you agree or disagree

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

So, we can use verbs like 'demonstrate' and 'show' to indicate that we agree with a source. These are sometimes called 'endorsing verbs'. Alternatively, we can use a 'distancing verb' like 'argue', 'claim', 'assert' and 'maintain' to indicate that we're reporting what our source says, without saying whether or not we agree with it.

Next

So now you know about reporting verbs, it's time to take a look at some other phrases you can use to show whether you agree with an academic source or not. Go to the next activity to find out how!

Session Vocabulary

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