PHL 700R DAY 2 Critical Reading: Deconstructing a Text


PHL 700R DAY 2 Critical Reading: Deconstructing a Text


PHL 700R DAY 2 Critical Reading: Deconstructing a Text

PHL 700R DAY 2 Critical Reading: Deconstructing a Text

Critical Reading: Deconstructing a Text Template


Locate and print a short, opinion- or position-based article or essay, preferably written by one author. Do not select a peer-reviewed, scholarly source for this assignment. Instead, your article or essay must be from a popular publication. Newspaper editorials, blogs, political pundits’ websites, and educational or health care activist organizations’ sites would provide appropriate material.

Conduct a close reading of the text

Identify implicit, empirically grounded meaning from the text. Examples of this kind of reading might include uncovering a political or ideological leaning based on the historical nature of examples an author uses or determining an author’s value system regarding a particular issue by analyzing hierarchical structures in the essay’s organization. 

Note. This is not an exercise in determining whether the author is wrong or right in his or her position, as these value judgments are typically irrelevant to the purpose of scholarship. Try to identify the assumptions, context, situatedness, and embedded logic of the argument through a close reading of the text. Unearthing these components through an analytical process allows readers to discover evidence of conscious or unconscious decisions the author made in writing the text. This evidence assists in making valid, empirically driven claims regarding the text.

Elements of critical reading General description Examples from the text (words, phrases, or passages, including page numbers) Implications for my thinking and writing
Uncovering explicit meaning


·         What is the author’s intended message?

·         How does the author convey this message?

Uncovering implicit meaning


·         What assumptions underlie the author’s message?

·         What belief system does the text convey?

·         What contradictions exist between the explicit and implicit meanings you identified?

Evaluating the author’s authority


·         What is the author’s primary source of authority?

·         What are the author’s secondary sources?

·         Whose voices are privileged?

·         How is the author situated in the larger discourse in the field?

Identifying gaps


·         What is omitted?

·         Whose voices are silenced?

·         How do these omissions influence your interpretation of the text?


PHL 700R DAY 2 Critical Reading: Deconstructing a Text