apply critical reading skills H u m a n i t i e s
this writing assignment you will identify the structure of an argument. You will evaluate common types of reasoning and identify common errors in reasoning/argument. You will apply critical reading skills to assess the nature and accuracy of evidence provided by authors.
TASK: Go online and locate a news article on a current social or political situation/event. Read the article carefully. Examine the article to see how the author’s bias affects the message he/she is trying to send to you, the reader.
Then, open up a Word document, and respond to the following questions:
What kind of words has the author used? Can you pick out the tone of the article using some key words? Is the article sad, angry, peppy, happy, etc.? How do you know? Use examples to illustrate your answer.
- Does the author seem to omit any details? Did you have any unanswered questions in your mind? Did any of the sentences or claims raise a red flag in your mind? If so, mention them.
- Does the author mention his/her sources? Does the author seem credible? Do you believe what he/she is saying? Why or why not?
- Can you figure out if the author is using limiting debate? Provide examples.
- Does the story appear to be real or framed? Why or why not?
- Can you tell where the author is placed geographically? Does this affect the quality of his/her writing? Illustrate your answer by providing examples.
- Does the author seem to be one-sided or biased due to a particular institutional affiliation? How do you know?
- Does the author seem objective and does the message in the article seem fact-based? How can you tell?
- Does the medium of presentation [newspaper = print based or online] seem to affect the quality and credibility of the author? How? Illustrate your answer with examples from the article.
Take your time and answer all the questions thoroughly. Do not merely provide to the point responses to each question. Rather, you must quote and provide illustrations from the article in order to back up your analysis/opinions. You may also choose to use the questions above as a guide and weave your analytical responses into a cohesive analytical essay.
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