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Critical Reading & Analysis (CRA)

So you ve figured out how to annotate, so that s it for reading actively right Sorry, not so fast. Yes you have circled and highlighted and even managed to make a fair amount of notes in the margins, but that is not enough to get you to productive writing. You need to make some assumptions about what, why, and how the text is working and to make some meaning out of what you have read. To do this, after reading actively you need to think critically about what you find compelling in the text, in other words, you need to form an intellectual response to the reading. Finally, in order to make your thinking visible, you will take your intellectual response and put it in writing, thus the CRA.

How to write the CRA (make sure to include all of the parts, 1-5):

1. CITATION: For each text or chapter of text in each reading assignment, provide the full citation information at the beginning of the CRA (name, title, publication, date, page).

2. PASSAGES: Select two (2) passages (about 1-2 good sentences) from each text or chapter of text to respond to. For example, if you are assigned 3 chapters in one text, then you should have two passages from each chapter for a total of 6 passages. Type the passage in italics surrounded by quotation marks, followed by the proper MLA citation.

3. RESPONSES: Beneath each selected passage, write your response to it, saying as much as you can.
Example below: (the assigned text is a scholarly article)

Schunk, D.H. Self-efficacy and Classroom Learning. Psychology in the Schools 22.2 (1985): 208-223. ERIC. Accessed 2 Mar. 2015.

(1) teacher feedback that points out correct operations and remedies troublesome tasks helps students understand their mistakes and validates correct answers (Schunk 7).

I get so discouraged when teachers mark my papers wrong but they don t make any comments or explanations about why it s wrong. This passage makes me think that ..

The purpose here is to practice reading-to-write and making your thinking visible by taking your active reading a step further and thinking more deeply about your initial responses to the text. A good response will take at least a paragraph to explain your thinking.

4. RHETORICAL ANALYSIS: After you have written all of the passages and responses for the reading assignment, think about the choices that lead the author (or each author) in writing this text Identify the rhetorical elements of the text and speculate about what problems or questions drive the author. This is NOT to be a summary. The rhetorical analysis SECTION is for you to practice thinking about and responding to the choices the author makes in point-of-view, audience, genre, tone, appeals and purpose and how those choices affect the message of the text. A good analysis will take at least 1-2 paragraphs.

5. FURTHER INQUIRY: After you have completed all of the passages and responses and the rhetorical analysis for the reading assignment, include a final section where you propose two (2) new intellectual problems or questions the reading raises for you. These should be points of FURTHER INQUIRY, sometimes
taking you deeper into the text and sometimes taking you outside of the text to related issues. This section is designed to help you practice and learn to identify which of your responses/reactions have potential for productive writing, and which may not. (Each new problem/questions should be a minimum of 2 sentences).

*Please make each section of your CRA clear and obvious and label appropriately. The following is an example that you may use as a template, or you can format your own with similar clarity.

(Example Moody; Stegner)

Moody, Rick. The Joy and Enthusiasm of Reading. This I Believe. Joy Allison and Dan Gediman, Eds. New York: Holt, 2007. 159-161.

(1) Blah, blah blah blah, blah . (Moody 3).

This passage about blah makes me think about ..

(2) Yadda yadda yadda yadda, ya yadda (Moody 1).

The idea of yadda yadda yadda makes me wonder if ..

Rhetorical Analysis: I think that the author is writing from the perspective of __________ and that he uses _________ to explain __________. I think that the problem he saw was __________ and he wanted to find a way to __________ by using __________. Moody s purpose behind the text is to __________ and __________, etc

Stegner, Wallace. Everything Potent is Dangerous. This I Believe. Joy Allison and Dan Gediman, Eds. New York: Holt, 2007. 234-236.

(1) passage & response

Rhetorical Analysis: Here I feel the author is ..

(at the end of your passages and rhetorical analysis, on the last page, last paragraph,
end with Further Inquiry questions)

Further Inquiry

1. If __________ is true, then why would
2. The idea of __________ doesn t seem complete; what about _________ and ___________

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