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Critical Reading for Self-Critical Writing: introduction to a structured approach for reviewing literature Mike Wallace and Alison Wray. Aims . to introduce a structured approach for reviewing literature based on analysing texts at two levels of depth

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Critical Reading for Self-Critical Writing: introduction to a structured approach for reviewing literature Mike Wallace


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slide1

Critical Reading for

Self-Critical Writing:

introduction to a structured approach for reviewing literature

Mike Wallace and Alison Wray

slide2
Aims
  • to introduce a structured approach for reviewing literature based on analysing texts at two levels of depth
  • to highlight the parallel between constructively critical reading of others’ writing in the literature and self-critical writing as creators of academic literature for other critical readers
  • to support participants in developing their ability to engage critically with the literature
programme
Programme
  • linking constructively critical reading with self-critical academic writing
  • engaging critically with ‘frontline’ texts – a critical synopsis
  • structuring an in-depth critical analysis of a text
  • trying out the critical analysis of a text reporting research
  • building up a comparative critical review and developing an argument
the logic of enquiry book pvii viii
The Logic of Enquiry (book pvii-viii)

Two-way critical academic discourse:

  • as a reader, evaluating others’ attempts to communicate and convince through developing their argument
  • as a researcher and writer, developing one’s own argument that will communicate with and convince the projected audience
components of an argument
Components of an Argument
  • the conclusion rests on claims to knowledge, assertions that something is, or should be, true
  • claims to knowledge are backed by evidence, the warrant for the conclusion
  • evidence varies, e.g. from literature / own work:- research findings- professional experience- a definition of a theoretical idea
being constructively critical
Being Constructively Critical
  • adopting an attitude of scepticismtowards knowledge and its production
  • scrutinising arguments to see how far claims are warranted, and so convincing
  • being open-minded, willing to be convinced if scrutiny removes doubts
  • being constructive by attempting to achieve a worthwhile goal in developing one’s own argument
three part book structure p viii x
Three-Part Book Structure (p viii-x)
  • Getting started on critical reading and self-critical writing, summary analysis of texts (Ch 1-5)
  • Developing a mental map for navigating the literature, analysing texts in depth, writing critical reviews of them (Ch 6-10)
  • Structuring critical reviews of the literature, incorporating them into a dissertation, taking forward critical reading and self-critical writing skills in an academic career (Ch 11-14)
critical reading ch 3 five critical synopsis questions p31 4
Critical Reading (Ch 3): Five Critical Synopsis Questions (p31-4)

A Why am I reading this?

B What are the authors trying to do in writing this?

C What are the authors saying that’s relevant to what I want to find out?

D How convincing is what the authors are saying?

E In conclusion, what use can I make of this?

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Complete the Critical Synopsis form on page 3 of the handout for the research report article or chapter you brought (book p35)
self critical writing ch 4 structure for a critical summary p44
Self-Critical Writing (Ch 4): Structure for a Critical Summary (p44)
  • Title
  • Introducing the text, informed by answer to Critical Synopsis Question:

A Why am I reading this?

  • Reporting the content, informed by answer to Critical Synopsis Questions:

B What are the authors trying to do in writing this? and

C What are the authors saying that’s relevant to what I want to find out?

  • Evaluating the content, informed by answer to Critical Synopsis Question:

D How convincing is what the authors are saying?

  • Drawing your conclusion, informed by answer to Critical Synopsis Question:

E In conclusion, what use can I make of this?

warrant

comparative critical summary ch 5 structure p49
Comparative Critical Summary (Ch 5): Structure (p49)
  • Title
  • Introducing the text, informed by answers to Critical Synopsis Question A for all texts
  • Reporting the content, informed by answers to Critical Synopsis Questions B and C for all texts
  • Evaluating the content, informed by answers to Critical Synopsis Question D for all texts
  • Drawing your conclusion, informed by answers to Critical Synopsis Question E for all texts

warrant

mental map for navigating the literature ch 6 7
Mental Map for Navigating the Literature (Ch 6-7)

One set of tools for thinking

Two dimensions of variation amongst knowledge claims

Three kinds of knowledge

Four types of literature

Five intellectual projects

one set of tools for thinking the key to the mental map
One set of Tools for Thinking: the Key to the Mental Map
  • Concepts
  • Perspectives
  • Metaphors
  • Theories
  • Models
  • Assumptions
  • Ideologies
two dimensions of variation of claims
Two Dimensions of Variation of Claims

Degree of certainty

Low High

Degreeofgeneralization

HighLow

three kinds of knowledge key
Three Kinds of Knowledge (+ Key)

Theoretical knowledge

developed through systematic reflection

  • Tools for thinking
  • concepts
  • perspectives
  • metaphors
  • theories
  • models
  • assumptions
  • ideologies

Research knowledge

developed through systematic investigation

Practice knowledge

developed through taking action

four types of literature
Four Types of Literature
  • research - systematic enquiries into policy and practice by professional researchers or practitioners, results are made public
  • practice - by informed professionals who evaluate others’ practice and by practitioners who evaluate their practice
  • policy- policy-makers’ desired changes in practice (negative evaluation of present)
  • theoretical - ideas and models for interpreting and explaining practice
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Critical Synopsis and Critical Analysis Questions (Ch 8)(p92)

A Why am I reading this?1. What review question am I asking of this literature?B What are the authors trying to do in writing this?2. What type of literature is this?3. What kind of intellectual project is being undertaken?C What are the authors saying that’s relevant to what I want to find out?4. What is being claimed that is relevant to answering my review question?

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D How convincing is what the authors are saying?5. How far is there backing for claims?6. How adequate is any conceptual or theoretical orientation to back claims?7. How far does any value stance adopted affect claims?8. How far are claims supported or challenged by others' work?9. How far are claims consistent with my experience?E In conclusion, what use can I make of this?10. What is my overall evaluation of this literature in the light of my review question?

slide21
Complete the Critical Analysis form for the research report article or chapter you brought (book Appendix 3)
useful sources of assistance
Useful Sources of Assistance
  • Mental map Ch 6-7
  • Types of literature and potential limitations Table 7.1(p81-2)
  • Guidance on using Critical Analysis form (p93-99)
critical review structure p117 8
Critical Review Structure (p117-8)
  • Title - keywords
  • Introduction – state purpose (review questions – critical analysis Q1)
  • Summary of research design – purposes (Q2, 3),

relevance to review questions (Q1), procedure

  • Main findings and claims – up to 5 claims relating to review question (Q4), range of contexts to which applied
  • Evaluation of claims – for context from which derived, applicability to other contexts (Q5-9)
  • Conclusion – overall evaluation, summary answer to review question (Q10)
  • References

warrant

defining a critical literature review p130
Defining a Critical Literature Review(p130)
  • a reviewer’s constructively critical account
  • developing an argument designed to convince a particular audience
  • about what published (and possibly also unpublished)
  • theory, research, practice or policy texts indicate is and is not known
  • about one or more questions that the reviewer has framed
literature review structure based on critical analyses and critical synopses p134 5
Literature Review Structure Based on Critical Analyses and Critical Synopses (p134-5)
  • Introduction – purpose, justification, scope, limitations, signposting
extended structure for multiple review questions p139 40
Extended Structure for Multiple Review Questions (p139-40)
  • Introduction – purpose, justification, scope, limitations, signposting
  • Section addressing the first review question
electronic resources
Electronic Resources

Three blank forms (which can be used as masters) can be downloaded from the website: www.sagepub.co.uk/wallace

  • Critical Synopsis form
  • Critical Analysis form
  • Logic Checksheet form (for a dissertation or thesis)