Write a critique of an opinion article written by a columnist from a major, mainstream publication, such as The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, or Washington Post. Choose an article published in 2012 or 2013. Be sure you choose an opinion article (or editorial), rather than a “news” article. Such an article will take a clear position on an issue, rather than a “just the facts” approach. See the “Research Tips” slideshow for pointers on finding a suitable article.
Remember that in a critique you are expected to answer two broad questions: 1.) To what extent does the author succeed in his or her purpose? 2.) To what extent do you agree with the author? To answer these questions, you will of course first need to discern the argument. Remember to make ample use of “signal phrases” (Smith argues, Smith points out, according to Smith, etc.). In your critique you can discuss the types and quality of evidence used, the author’s ethos (you can discuss both his/her credentials and the tone of the article), and any flaws or fallacies you think the author commits (or ways in which he or she avoids committing specific fallacies).
Once again, you should use In [“Title”] [Author] argues…, and an “Although” sentence to identify and clarify the argument. In addition to these, include a sentence that specifies the type(s) of evidence the author relies upon in making her/his argument. For example, [Author] mainly relies upon statistics to prove his point, though he also uses one anecdotal example.
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