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How to Read and Write Critically

How to Read and Write Critically

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October 2021 | 224 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

To succeed in any assessment, you need to demonstrate critical thinking – but what does it mean to be ‘critical’?

This book takes a hands-on approach to helping you think, read and write critically. Packed with examples from different disciplines and subjects, it talks through dozens of written extracts so you can see what criticality actually looks like.

The book:

·       Equips you with tools for making an argument, explaining your reasoning and using examples to illustrate your points.

·       Enables you to structure coherent arguments and choose appropriate language.

·       Helps you interpret and apply feedback from your lecturers.

For undergraduate students studying in any discipline, this clear guide takes the confusion out of reading and writing critically so you can approach your assessments with confidence.

Student Success is a series of essential guides for students of all levels. From how to think critically and write great essays to boosting your employability and managing your wellbeing, the Student Success series helps you study smarter and get the best from your time at university. 


Chapter 1: What does it mean to be ‘critical’?
Chapter 2: Different ways to show your criticality
Chapter 3: Understanding score bands and developing your skills within academic assessment
Chapter 4: The connection between critical reading, thinking and writing
Chapter 5: How to structure your essays
Chapter 6: How to structure your dissertation
Chapter 7: Additional assessments to consider
Chapter 8: Four ways to approach interpretation
Chapter 9: How to use quotes, paraphrase and summarise
Chapter 10: How to use critical language in your assessments


Sage Study Skills Hub
Visit the Sage Study Skills hub for tips, resources and videos on study success!
Critical Thinking Webinar

Watch the recording of How to Think for Yourself with Alex Baratta and Tom Chatfield. This webinar, hosted by JS Group, offers top tips on how to spot misinformation and engage critically with the world.

This is a clear and accessible text with practical content relevant to any student writing assignments in higher education. It analyses a range of authentic sources to clearly illustrate how to approach, plan and write an academic assignment effectively. 

David Busby
Academic Skills Course Leader, Skills Centre: Academic Skills, University of Bath

While I request many samples, owed much to fact that I teach across disciplines, and I am thus always searching for inspiration in an upcoming course or even in potential or imminent course creation, plus I service professional skills and college-offered preparatory courses (during summer for HS students), and even more, I'm always on the search.

Preface aside. I reviewed this text the way in which I make my decisions best and prefer most: hard copy. The electronic editions by mandate render the process more difficult for me b/c I annotate, think, and read better off-screen -- and the few publishers that still offer me that option by default often gain more adoptions b/c of my review style. BUT, even in that style here, I believed this text to be of exceptionally poor quality in many senses. The author's use of language was often elementary. He incorporated frequently phrases/words such as "a lot," or even words similar to "things," "stuff," etc. The text need not read to confuse. But I found the overuse of similar phrasing unprofessional -- it's something I tell my students to avoid. But most of all, I reviewed the text just the other day. Upon completion, I honestly felt as though I had gained absolutely nothing - no probative insights, no real substance...just nothing. Frankly, I'm perplexed how this text passed scholarly review and what SAGE saw within it that compelled publication. I often deliberate. And I hold off my decisions with notes until one must be made, usually a few months later. Here, I wish of all texts, I could have received one of quality by paperback! I would never even pick it up again.

Professor Daniel DiRocco
Interdiscipline Dept, William Paterson University
February 19, 2023

This is a very useful book to set some of the important groundlings and basics in place for students as they embark onto MA courses. We have a lot of overseas students who have come from a BA/BSc background with assessment as examination rather than a more self-regulated or critical approach and this book is very useful in getting them to think in a more nuanced way.

Dr Paul Hopkins
Education, Hull University
February 24, 2023

I direct students to this text for those who need a revision on how to write critically at Master's level. In my professional opinion and experience, critical reading and writing (especially at Level 7) are essential skills. At times, such skills need to be sharpened by those who are new to health care education.

Mr Thomas Beary
Nursing, Hertfordshire University
December 9, 2022

An easy to read book that will be useful as students develop their critical writing and will be helpful throughout their undergraduate studies

Mx David Metcalfe
Policing, Chester University
January 31, 2022

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ISBN: 9781529757996
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