Critical Engagement Assignments A07, A08, A09

Your next three assignments (A07, A08, and A09) combine to make up the Critical Engagement Assignment (code-named The Throwdown).

  • A07: The Annotated Bibliography
    The first assignment of the Throwdown
    is an abbreviated version of an annotated bibliography.

    • You’ll list the usual bibliographic information: title, author, publication, date, web address, etc.
    • Author. You’ll also provide notes about the author’s relevant background, training, affiliations, previous publications, honors, awards, anything you think might affect the quality, reliability, or bias of the author’s work.
    • Publication. Finally, your bibliography will assess the reliability, credibility, popularity, academic authority, or reputation in its industry, for the purpose of assessing its relative value as a source for your assignment.
  • A08: Summaries and Purposes
    The second assignment of the Throwdown is a critical analysis of your sources. It contains three sections.

    • Purposes. For each of your three sources, you’ll analyze in your own voice what you believe to be the motivation for the author’s publication. Understandably, the author always intends to inform, but only rarely is an author simply reporting facts. You’ll analyze the choices the author makes about what to report, how she characterizes the people who play roles in the stories related, the language and tone she uses to communicate the narrative. Sometimes the author will overtly persuade readers; sometimes the message will be more covert; only rarely is there no discernible purpose behind a published work.
      • For example, an excerpt from a colleague’s work: The author’s clear purpose is to undermine the validity of the Republican successes in the recent election. While factually describing the recent Republican takeover of the Senate as a result of dissatisfaction with the economy and the president, the author negatively portrays the Republicans as aggressors. Throughout the article, Democrats are portrayed as “fighting off” Republican encroachment, and finally being “toppled.” The language consistently characterizes Republican challengers as aggressors or attackers rather than champions of their constituents. Democrats are portrayed as embattled defenders trying to hold back invading forces. Democrats not fully committed to their candidates are “disengaged from the process,” while Republicans are “conflicted about their choices.”
    • Audience. Put yourself in the author’s position. What readers does she hope to reach, and why? A good Audience section is an extension of the Purposes section. It explains how the author hopes to achieve the goal of persuading different groups. What does the Author want her readers to think, feel, or do?

      • For example, from a colleague’s work:1) Advocates for personal privacy rights and the free press looking for evidence that government agencies often violate both; 2) Readers on the fence trying to balance their support for strenuous law enforcement with their insistence that police need to be constrained from deceptive practices; 3) the FBI, the courts, and the law enforcement community, as an expression of outrage at their tactics.
    • Summary. You’ll summarize just those parts of the source that directly apply to your topic and theme. Use the author’s voice for this section. To the best of your ability, write your summary as if the author were writing it. Instead of reporting what the author said or meant, write as if you were yourself the author.
  • A09: My Take
    The third assignment (and the final section) of the Throwdown is the section where you add your voice to the conversation. Offer your own ideas on the key points or respond to what your authors have said (or both). The My Take section is the ultimate synthesis exercise, in which you blend your personal experience and background knowledge with the material you’ve learned during the research process, plus your attitudes about the other “experts” who have expressed themselves on the topic you’ve been studying.

MW Deadlines:

  • A07: Annotated Bibliography
    • 11:59PM SUN NOV 09
  • A08: Summaries and Purposes
    • 11:59PM TUE NOV 11
  • A09: My Take Section
    • 11:59PM SUN NOV 16

TR Deadlines:

  • A07: Annotated Bibliography
    • 11:59PM MON NOV 10
  • A08: Summaries and Purposes
    • 11:59PM WED NOV 12
  • A09: My Take Section
    • 11:59PM MON NOV 17

The Nitty Gritty

  • Post in the Critical Engagement category, and your username
  • Follow the Throwdown Model provided by your very devoted professor.
  • Give it the official title Throwdown—Username
  • Also give your Assignment a descriptive title.
    • For Example: Death with Dignity
  • Provide links to sources.
  • Provide a Works Cited.
  • Long Argument grade category (25%)

About davidbdale

Inventor of and sole practitioner of 299-word Very Short Novels.
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2 Responses to Critical Engagement Assignments A07, A08, A09

  1. davidbdale says:

    For Garwin and others, do a better job of explaining the expanded range of the Audience section, with an example. Explain what the author hopes to convince various readers to think, feel, or do.


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