Critical Reading and Writing for Postgraduates

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Overview

This guide to critical reading and self-critical writing is a must-have resource for postgraduate students and early-career academics. Packed with tools for analyzing texts and structuring critical reviews, and incorporating exercises and examples drawn from the social sciences, the book offers step-by-step advice on how to:
  • Read any text critically and analyze it in the depth appropriate to one's project
  • Develop a self-critical approach to one's own academic writing
  • Ask questions in order to evaluate authors' arguments
  • Keep a review manageable by using focused review questions
  • Structure a comparative review of multiple texts
  • Build up a convincing argument
  • Integrate critical literature reviews into a dissertation or thesis
  • Make the transition from postgraduate to professional academic writer
Essential reading for novice researchers, the book will also be invaluable for supervisors, methods course tutors, and academic mentors who teach and support the development of critical reading and self-critical writing skills.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412902212
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 5/28/2006
  • Series: Sage Study Skills Series
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Mike Wallace is a Professor of Public Management at Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University. He is an Associate Director of the Advanced Institute of Management Research (AIM), responsible for research capacity building in the management field. He is also the Economic and Social Research Council’s Strategic Adviser for Researcher Development. Mike is series editor of the Sage Learning to Read Critically series of books. His own research on managing change in the public services is reported in many books and academic journals.

Alison Wray is a Research Professor of Language and Communication at Cardiff University. Her research centres on the modelling of lexical storage and processing, particularly in relation to formulaic phrases, and it has been applied to language learning, evolution of language and language disability. Her two monographs Formulaic Language and the Lexicon (Cambridge University Press, 2002) and Formulaic Language: Pushing the Boundaries (Oxford University Press, 2008) are internationally acclaimed. She has a longstanding commitment to researcher training, including the developing of academic expertise.

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Table of Contents

1 What it means to be critical 3
2 Making a critical choice 15
3 Getting started on critical reading 26
4 Getting started on self-critical writing 39
5 Creating a comparative critical summary 48
6 A mental map for exploring the literature 61
7 Components of your mental map 71
8 Developing a critical analysis of a text 91
9 A worked example of a critical analysis 100
10 Developing your argument in writing a critical review of a text 115
11 Focusing and building up your critical literature review 129
12 Integrating critical literature reviews into your dissertation 147
13 Tools for structuring a dissertation 166
14 Building your academic career on critical reading and self-critical writing 177
App. 1 Abriges article : 'One word or two?' (Wray and Staczek) 185
App. 2 Abridged article : 'Sharing leadership through teamwork' (Wallace) 195
App. 3 Blank form for the critical analysis of a text 209
App. 4 Checklist : developing a logical overall argument in a dissertation 219
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