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Reading Critically at University

Reading Critically at University

  • Mike Metcalfe - University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
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May 2006 | 184 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Have you ever been asked to critique an article, book, or past project and wondered what exactly was meant by 'critique'?

Reading Critically at University provides 13 different ways of undertaking a critique. It will help you to confidently use these critique methods to develop your own methods. Each chapter contains sample passages, example critiques and explanations of underlying theory to help you to consolidate your understanding and skills.

Reading Critically at University will support undergraduate and graduate students across the social sciences, as they master different critique methods. It will also be an excellent resource for all undergraduate study skills modules.

Using Argument to Critique
Using System Thinking to Critique
Using Pictures to Critique
Using Technical, Organizational and Personal Perspectives to Critique
Using Concern Solving to Critique
Using Observation and Explanation to Critique
Using Metaphors to Critique
Using Contradictions to Critique
Using an Evolutionary Stance to Critique
Using Irony, Paradox and Humour to Critique
Using Reflective Thinking to Critique
Using Questions to Critique
Using Multiple Stances to Critique
Writing-Up Your Critique


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Ms Stephanie Darke
University Centre, Doncaster, Doncaster College And University Centre
February 17, 2020

The diversity of methods to read critical is helpful because they are delineated categorically, which is particularly helpful for undergraduate students. The concept of criticality can often be misconstrued and the combination of questions to frame the approach alongside the examples are extremely useful. Each chapter contains a clear summary that allows the reader to evaluate whether or not the student has a sound grasp of the key concepts.

Ms Lorraine Loveland-Armour
Department of Education, Newman University
March 11, 2017

'Critiquing' and 'critically analysing' texts are of course key skills for undergraduate students. Too often however this phrase is used by lecturers without students fully understanding the implications of this. This book is an excellent resource for students and lecturers to refer to in order to address common misunderstandings and develop a common discourse.

Dr Jim Clack
Department of Primary Education, Bedfordshire Univ.
July 3, 2014

Very clear and readable

Ian Reed
Youth and Community Development, University of Cumbria
September 12, 2013

This provides a good introduction to concepts of critical appraisal and seems appropriate for new students, including those returning for more advanced studies

Ms Margaret Freeman
Speech , Sheffield University
December 17, 2011

Excellent book - very detailed but simple enough for students to dip in and out of when needed.

Miss Nicola O'keefe
Roehampton Business School, Roehampton University
October 19, 2011

Many students, even at Post Graduate level, do not really appreciate what the critique of a journal article or textbook entails. They often confuse critique with criticism and negativity and then feel they may be viewed in a bad light themselves.

Mike Metcalfe's informative and well structured text outlines critique as a process, undertaken from a position of strength in terms of knowledge and analytical ability, used to evaluate 'anything placed before you'. The text then introduces the reader to 13 different standpoints or 'stances' that can be used to 'critique contempory problems ststematically and constructively' in order to examine and challenge, for example, the credibilty and evidence base for claims and conclusions within the article, book, journal paper, etc. under review.

The 13 stances are presented in some depth using a self-assessment procedure in which the reader is encouraged to critique numerous example text based vignettes and end of chapter exercises.

All in all a very readable and informative coverage of critical reading for university students.

Mr David Dowdle
School of the Built Environment, Salford University
December 3, 2010

Another good book from this series. Student can dip in and out of the text to support their development. This is supported with exercises at the end of the chapters for the student to complete at their leisure.

Mrs Elizabeth Mills
Nursing , Sheffield Hallam University
November 9, 2010

First class explanations with useful exercises at the end of each chapter.
My learners were able to dip in and out of this text with ease.
Very good.

Mr Christopher Buckingham
Faculty of Arts, Winchester University
November 2, 2010

Think this will help students a lot in not just agreeging with anything that is written in a book

Dr Wendy Podd
Faculty of Education and Society, Sunderland University
October 6, 2009