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Critical Reading and Writing for Postgraduates

Critical Reading and Writing for Postgraduates

Third Edition
Additional resources:

April 2016 | 296 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Reading critically, and writing using critical techniques, are crucial skills you need to apply to your academic work.  Practical and engaging, Critical Reading and Writing for Postgraduates is bursting with tools for analysing texts and structuring critical reviews, helping you to gradually build your skills beyond undergraduate level and gain confidence in your ability to critically read and write. 

New to this 3rd edition:

  • Introduces a technique for developing critical thinking skills by interrogating paper abstracts

  • Additional diagrams, exercises and concept explanations, enabling you to more easily understand and apply the various approaches

  • A glossary, to help with understanding of key terms.

Also new for this edition, a Companion Website provides additional resources to help you apply the critical techniques you learn.  From templates and checklists, access to SAGE journal articles and additional case studies, these free resources will make sure you successfully master advanced critical skills.

If you need to engage with published (or unpublished) literature such as essays, dissertations or theses, research papers or oral presentations, this proven guide helps you develop a reflective and advanced critical approach to your research and writing.

The Student Success series are essential guides for students of all levels. From how to think critically and write great essays to planning your dream career, the Student Success series helps you study smarter and get the best from your time at university.

Becoming a Critical Reader and Self-Critical Writer
What it Means to Be Critical
Making a Critical Choice
A First Look: Interrogating Abstracts
Getting Started on Critical Reading
Getting Started on Self-Critical Writing
Creating a Comparative Critical Summary
Developing an In-Depth Analysis
A Mental Map for Navigating the Literature
Tools for Thinking and Ways of Thinking
Reasons for Conducting the Research
Knowledge Claims and their Key Characteristics
Developing a Critical Analysis of a Text
A Worked Example of a Critical Analysis
Developing your Argument in Writing a Critical Review of a Text
Putting your Critical Reviews to Work
Focusing and Building up your Critical Literature Review
Integrating Critical Literature Reviews into your Dissertation
Critical Literature Reviews in Alternative Dissertation Structures
Tools for Structuring a Dissertation
Using the Literature in Research Papers and Oral Presentations


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Visit the SAGE Study Skills hub for tips, resources and videos on study success!

This updated and expanded edition contains a welcome revision of a very useful guide to critical reading, writing and thinking in academic work.  It provides an extremely detailed step-by-step guide to engaging with several types of academic literature and it presents numerous worked examples of how critical writing should be done. The book should be regarded as essential reading for postgraduate students, especially with regard to the preparation of dissertations and theses.  It will also be of great value for academics engaged in the critical review of literature in their respective fields and for critical reflection upon their own work for publication.

Alan Phipps
Associate Lecturer in Criminology, Department of Psychology, Manchester Metropolitan University

This book will be a must read for my research students. It is practical with its various techniques and strategies, without being prescriptive. It will build your confidence in critically engaging with what you read and, because the authors treat reading and writing as an intertwined process, it will help with evidencing your own claims, identifying gaps in your arguments and seeing the assumptions you forget you are making. Indeed this book has the capacity to support us all to become better writers.

Melanie Nind
Professor of Education, University of Southampton

This book demystifies the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of critical reading and writing in a highly accessible way. Scaffolded activities which encourage self-reflection provide essential practice for postgraduates wishing to develop their critical sub-skills, and are also an invaluable resource for Learning Development professionals working to foster these sub-skills in their students, whatever their disciplinary context or cultural background.

Chris Bishop
University of East Anglia

This is one of the best book I have read for critical writing and reading. I will strongly recommend to all the postgraduate students to read this. It will build your confidence for critical reading and improve your academic writing.

Dr Rajeeb Sah
School of Public Health, Social Work & Midwifery , Canterbury Christ Church University
June 22, 2018

We use this book on both are MSc in HRM.

Mr James Leinster
Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University
January 6, 2018