Purpose: For this critique paper, you will critique, evaluate, and otherwise assess what you have read, and you must refer to established criteria standards such as rhetorical appeals (i.e., ethos, pathos, and logos), argumentation principles (e.g., logical fallacies, claims, evidence, and analysis), and writing conventions (e.g., organization and style), among other things, to do so. Remember: the critique paper is not a response paper. Indeed, while the response paper asked you to articulate and defend a response to a source text, the critique paper asks you to refer to the above criteria and standards to make a value judgement in which you deem a source text effective or ineffective, persuasive or unpersuasive, and so forth. Refer to the Understanding Rhetoric excerpt available on CourseDen in Week Three’s “Essay One Resources.”
Description: You’ll select ONE of the three excerpted chapters from Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction—“The Sixth Extinction,” “Welcome to the Anthropocene,” or “The Thing with Feathers.” Then, you will critique the chapter by (1) articulating clear, arguable, and—most important—identifiable claims in which you evaluate the text; (2) providing evidence, specific examples of specific criteria, to support such claims; and (3) composing analysis in which you explain how you perceive the provided evidence supporting the articulated claims.
Introduction: The introduction should achieve three objectives: (1) it should introduce Kolbert’s chapter, including both the title and author; (2) it should summarize both what the chapter says and how the chapter says it in a clear, concise, and accurate manner: and (3) it should conclude with an argumentative thesis statement that articulates a critique/ assessment of the text with reference to specific rhetorical, compositional, argumentative, stylistic, organizational, (etc.), choices.
Thesis Statement: Your thesis should present a clear and concise argumentative statement that evaluates the effectiveness or persuasiveness of the source text based on its use of rhetorical appeals (logos, pathos, and ethos). Argumentation principles (logical fallacies, claims, and evidence) and/or writing conventions (organization and style). Remember, your thesis should not be presented as a response to the chapter’s main points (e.g., agreeing or disagreeing with the text’s ideas) but should make a value judgement about the text (e.g., why the text is effective or persuasive.)
Supporting Argument/Body: Each content paragraph should likewise include three components: (1) a topic sentence, (2) evidence, and (3) analysis. Each topic sentence should make an argumentative claim that further specifies the assessment of the source text articulated in the thesis statement, and as such, should evaluate a particular rhetorical, compositional, organizational, stylistic, logical, (etc.), choice made in that text. Evidence, meanwhile, will take the form of quotations or of paraphrases, from the source text, that support and/or illustrate the claim made in the topic sentence, and the analysis will explain how each piece of evidence supports, illustrates, and otherwise “proves” the argued evaluation.
Conclusion: The conclusion, in general, has just two objectives: (1) it should restate the thesis statement in other words, and (2) it should summarize, in a few sentences, the overall argument made in the essay.
MLA Format: The paper should follow current MLA style guidelines. Be sure to include in-text citations for direct quotations and paraphrases from your source as well as a Works Cited page. NOTE: The Purdue OWL website is an excellent resource for MLA guidelines, including formatting in-text citations and your Works Cited page.
No outside research for this essay. This should be your evaluation of the source text.
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