Remember that when you read a summary, the writer should not give you an opinion, but rather a report of the most important facts. A criticism, on the other hand, examines, assesses, and expresses an opinion on a text. Consider the beginning of this lesson and the account of the student who was curious about the book. These are examples of critiques.
A critique can be written by anyone with opinions to share; a summary is usually done by someone who is not familiar with all the details of the text they are summarizing. For example, a teacher might write a summary of what happens in a play for the class without having seen the play himself. Or a librarian might write a summary of a book for users who have not had the opportunity to read the book themselves.
In addition to being less personal than a critique, a summary should also include only the necessary information. In the case of the lesson on critical thinking, which component of the argument is crucial for understanding it? The conclusion. Therefore, a summary of the critical thinking lesson would probably only cover the major points of the essay and leave out some of the more detailed explanations found in the full version of the essay.
Finally, a summary should be short. This allows the reader to focus on the material that was not covered in the original version of the text.
These are just some examples of how a critique and a summary differ.
How to Begin a Critique
Summary of the Lesson Summarizing and assessing the work of another author is required in critical response essays. The essay begins with an introduction to the text study, followed by your major argument or thesis. The work is then summarized to provide the reader an idea of what the material is about. This summary should be concise but still cover the main ideas within the text.
In addition to summarizing the work, you must also assess it. You do this by answering two questions: (1) What are the main ideas being presented in this text? (2) How well does this text show those ideas?
Your answer to the first question will help guide your writing process. It will allow you to choose which ideas to develop at length and which can be mentioned briefly. For example, if the text presents several different ways of looking at success, but only one is discussed at length, you could say that there is a focus on only one way of looking at success. This would lead you to write more about this particular idea.
As for the second question, this answers whether or not you think the text is relevant to today's society. If you find some aspects of it outdated, this would be reflected in your response to this question. For example, if the Critical Theory class you were reading about had some negative views on capitalism, you could say that this text shows these ideas poorly because it promotes them over other systems.
Effective criticism focuses on student performance. It should be neutral and should not represent the instructor's own beliefs, likes, dislikes, or prejudices. In addition, effective criticism requires clarity in explaining how and why an activity is being criticized.
Good criticism includes three components: it must be specific; it must be fair; and it must be timely.
Specific criticism tells students exactly what they did wrong and provides them with a clear explanation of why this error is significant. General comments such as "you were very sloppy with your work" are meaningless to most students and do not help them improve their work. Specific comments provide students with the information they need to correct any errors found in their work. For example, if a student lab reports that his or her experiment showed no difference between control groups but then later finds out that one of the controls was actually blank, the instructor could comment specifically that "the fact that you didn't include X in your study means I can't use it as a comparison group" or "your control group size of 5 is too small to be statistically significant". Specific comments make it easier for students to understand why they received negative feedback and to learn from their mistakes.
Fair criticism gives students credit for all efforts made toward understanding the material.
A criticism is a comprehensive examination of an argument to evaluate what is stated, how well the arguments are conveyed, what assumptions underpin the argument, what difficulties are ignored, and what conclusions are reached from such observations. It is a methodical, yet personal, reaction to and evaluation of what you read. Criticism can be used to improve one's own writing or speaking skills by identifying problems with what was said or done not by attacking the person who did it, but by trying to understand where they were coming from.
In your critique of something, you examine it carefully, looking for different aspects: strengths and weaknesses. You should be able to recognize both, which will help you give an objective opinion on the topic.
For example, when you critique a paper, you look at its structure, content, and language all the way through without attacking or criticizing the writer. You try to see things that may need improving so that you can suggest ways in which it can be made better.
Critiquing someone's argument or position reveals important information about them that they might not want others to know. For this reason, some people feel uncomfortable when being criticized.
However, criticism can also be an effective tool for helping others grow and develop. When you criticize someone's work, you are giving them feedback on what mistakes they have made and pointing out possibilities for future improvement.