Other Ideas for Developing a Critical Stance

  1. Construct a different side to the text's position, even if this construction involves some imagination on your part and is not really in keeping with your beliefs. Try writing this conflicting view in a single draft called "The Other Side."
  2. Ask yourself what the contribution of the text is to a body of knowledge, the text's contribution to general knowledge. Locate the text within a larger framework. How does this text differ or appear to be the same as previous texts?
  3. Read the text for tone. What does the text additionally communicate via subtle (or not so subtle) cues?
  4. Read the text for structural decisions and overall intent. Ask yourself: Is this text, as a whole, reflecting, reporting, explaining, persuading? Is it composed of a series of structural decisions-in other words, does it report, then explain, and finally persuade?
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