In order to write your WPP 392 essay, you will need to do a critical reading of an article and critical thinking about the ideas, issues, and questions the article raises for a reader. Critical reading includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • analyzing the text.
  • thinking about the text's, the topic's, and the author's historical, biographical, and cultural contexts.
  • reflecting on the text's relationship to your own beliefs, knowledge, and values.

Critical thinking means taking the knowledge you gain through critical reading and combining or synthesizing that information with your own ideas and knowledge to come to new conclusions about the ideas being considered. Therefore, you should choose the article you will use for the exam carefully.

Once you have made your choice, spend some time analyzing and thinking about the article and the issues it raises.
You may want to do the following:

  • Outline the article--identify the thesis and the points it uses to support, develop, and explain the thesis idea.
  • Summarize the ideas in each paragraph; restate them in your own words.
  • Ask questions about the content: what intrigues you? what seems askew? What is illuminating? What don't you understand?
  • Think about your own response to the article's ideas based on your own knowledge: Do you agree? Do you not?
  • What would you like to ask or say to the author(s) if you were able to?
  • Do some background research about the topic and/or the author(s).
  • Reflect on how the article connects to or challenges your own beliefs and values: Why do you respond to the article as you do?