critique of the Ben Stein article


Write a critique of the Ben Stein article, using the article to support your claim. You may also use personal experience. Make sure that you closely examine these just

as you would the ideas of others. Anwser the questions at the veyr bottom as well.

MLA Format

Article to be used:

Around 4 pages in length and double spaced

Writing Critiques:
Before you can critique a piece, you must look at it critically, whether it is a written or visual or audio message.
You must consider the following – What is the author’s main argument/idea?
What proof does he or she offer to support this? (This is where logical fallacies can come into play as well as how well the argument is developed) What are his/her

assumptions (both stated and implied)? What counter arguments or issues does the author not take into account? What can be gained from studying the argument? Unlike in

summary writing where you objectively present a summation of a person’s work, in critique writing you study it rhetorically and can give your opinion about the


Discuss these in regard to this week’s article
A close reading (annotations, notes, research of author and audience) is needed to accomplish these things.
Research Ben Stein.

Once you have critically looked at a piece, you can begin writing a critique of it.
You must employ the following steps when writing a critique.
1) An accurate and fair summary of the piece’s main idea and its supporting information. From this you have to determine how well the author succeeded in achieving

his or her purpose. To do this (as previously discussed), you will state the title, author, and summarize the thesis. You will then summarize each of the main points

the writer makes.
2) Information from other sources (your personal knowledge and/or other information you have acquired from another source(s). For us it will be “Two American

3) A statement of your agreement or disagreement with the topic or a piece of it. Do you agree or disagree with the author? Followed by a thorough explanation of why

and examples to support that assertion (this is VERY VERY important – remember the logical fallacies. Just because you say it, doesn’t make it true. You must prove

it.) At this point you will add paraphrasing of the author’s argument(s). The examples you give should come from both the source and your own experience or from

another reliable source.

4) A clear statement of your assumptions. Here you will discuss the assumptions you have/had before reading, viewing, etc.. a piece. In order to know if you are

fairly judging something, you also have to examine your angle of vision.

All of this may seem like overkill; however, as you enter the world and the workforce, you are going to be constantly bombarded with information, and your success or

failure will be determined solely on your ability to critically evaluate information.


Before continuing, please take the time to answer the following questions.
Go over questions you must answer before you can begin your critique and that will help to develop your own view of the topic – if you aren’t sure where you stand.

These must have written answers that you turn in with your rough draft on Tuesday. These question will be used throughout the semester, and they may help you with

your editorial analyses. Please answer these and bring to class with your rough draft on Tuesday.
1: What do I agree with and disagree with in the text?
2: How have these texts changed my perception an an issue, question, or problem? You may want to use these prompts: “I used to think_____, but now I think _____.”

“Although these texts have persuaded me that ________, I still have doubts about _________.” Consider both the article and the video if you are using that.
3: What do I see or think now that I didn’t see or think before I read the text?
4: What new, significant questions do these texts raise for me?
5: What do I now see as the main controversies?
6: What is my current view on the focusing question that connects my texts and that all my texts explore?
7: How would I position myself in the conversation of the texts?
8: If I find one author’s perspective more valid, accurate, interesting, or useful than another’s why is that?
9: Does the author’s background influence my thinking?Once you have your ideas ready, you can begin organizing your critique.
Read and discuss sample critique
You must also consider the other things we have discussed – author, place of publication, purpose, audience, rhetorical strategies, language, types of appeals (logos,

pathos, ethos), etc…

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