Critical Writing and Analysis

Critical Writing and Analysis

You should choose an issue that is currently in the news and write an essay in which you explore the background to the issue and the different perspectives that people take on it.

Your essay should be aimed at an audience which does not understand very much about the country in which the news events are taking place, its history, institutions or culture, e.g. students from a different country. Your task is to fill in the background information which a reader would need to be able to understand the issues behind the news events and the different views held by those involved.

You can choose whichever issue you wish to explore but some examples might be:
Fair trade
Global warming
Population demographics

In order to provide an explanation of the background and to discuss the issue you will need to survey the newspapers or online news sites to choose a news event; identify an underlying issue, i.e. something people disagree about in relation to this event; define and explain some terms; read around the question to decide which aspect of the issue you would like to explore further; formulate a question that can be answered in an essay; specify a set of sub-questions which will help you to answer the main essay question; collect relevant information from books, journals and websites; decide how you can synthesise this information to answer your question.

You are required to adopt a critical perspective on your question. This means that you are not simply reporting the information you find but evaluating it and integrating it into your own narrative. You will need to be aware of different viewpoints, both with regard to the issue but also within the academic sources you find to explain it.


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