Critical Lens Essay Practice

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This handout provides suggestions for writing papers or responses that ask you to analyze a text through the lens of a critical or theoretical secondary source.

Generally, the lens should reveal something about the original or “target” text that may not be otherwise apparent.

In other words, what was the point of carrying out your analysis in the first place?

“Prepare an essay, in which the author talks about a couple of literary pieces he/she has read from the certain aspect of the claim given in the Critical Lens.

In their book, They Say, I Say, the authors lay out numerous templates to help writers engage in unfamiliar forms of critical academic discourse.

They encourage students to use the templates in any capacity they find useful, be it filling them in verbatim, modifying and extending them, or using them as an analytical entry point, then discarding them completely.Which of the lens text’s main arguments could be applied to the target text?It may be easier to focus on one or two of the lens text’s central arguments.If the author of the lens text is correct that ________, one would expect to see ________ in the target text. By this point in your essay, you should be drawing conclusions regarding what your lens analysis reveals about the texts in questions, or the broader issues the texts address.However, ________ actually takes place, revealing a critical point of disagreement. Make sure to explain why these discoveries are important for the discipline in which you are writing.Indeed, in the target text, one sees ________, which could be considered an example of ________ by the lens author’s definition.Therefore, we see a point of commonality concerning ________. According to the lens text _______ tends to occur in situations where _______.Then introduce the target text and its specific themes or events you will be addressing in your analysis.These introductions of texts and themes should lead into some kind of thesis statement.Are there instances where the lens text’s arguments don’t or can’t apply? It is helpful to keep a careful, written record of page numbers, quotes, and your thoughts and reactions as you read.Since this type of paper deals with a complex synthesis of multiple sources, it is especially important to have a clear plan of action before you begin writing.


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