Critical Commentaries

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For this course, students are required to write three critical commentaries. Commentary #1 is due online by 9 am on January 30th. This commentary should explore topics in the readings assigned through January 30th.

The aim of each paper is comparative inquiry and analysis, not
mere description. The emphasis is on reasoning and critical thinking.
It is not enough simply to recapitulate what each reading has to say
about a given theme. You must compare and contrast what they
have to say about a topic of your own choosing. To do this, you must
evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the types of analysis and
theories presented, and offer some conclusion of your own. Thus, each
paper should include the following:

  • A clear, persuasive
    introduction with an explicit thesis statement and a roadmap to tell me
    where and what you will try to demonstrate in the paper.
  • A very
    brief summary or literature review of the selected readings for the
    paper, with an emphasis on key arguments, type of analysis and
    conclusions found in each work. Avoid summarizing details. Stick to the
    main points.
  • A brief summary of the theme to be discussed in
    your paper. What are the issues involved and why are they important?
    What do we learn from each paper?
  • A comparative inquiry and
    analysis of what the readings have to say about the theme. What do we
    learn from these discussions? How does the chosen analysis advance or
    weaken the key arguments? Which cultural or political perspectives are
    at play? What remains to be learned?

Important Notes:

  • Papers are due online on before the start of class (9:00 am). Late papers will be accepted by email for up to 48 hours, but will receive a deduction for tardiness.
  • Each of the three papers should be 5 pages double-spaced with normal 1” margins and 12 pt., Times New Roman font.
  • All papers must be in APA style and include in-text citations and a full bibliography.
  • In
    grading your commentaries, I will evaluate the ideas you present, how
    you link your ideas to course materials and how well the paper is
    organized and executed. A rubric is available on Canvas for further
    information.
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